Gas powered leaf Blowers

How bad for the environment are gas-powered leaf blowers?
June 29, 2017 – 12:39 pm

To most people, falling leaves are a beautiful sign of the changing seasons. But for many Washingtonians, the rite of fall is just another reason to have an argument. Residents of some localities have even pushed for a ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers, which they find noisy and say are bad for the environment. Their opponents argue that banning the blowers would make leaf management arduous and prohibitively expensive. Failure to manage leaves means unattractive lawns, falling home prices — and perhaps the end of Western civilization.

I’ll leave the question of leaf blower noise to neighborhood discussion groups, but I can help resolve the environmental question: Exactly how bad for the Earth are gas-powered leaf blowers?

Much of the argument has to do with the two-stroke engine found in many of them. The two-stroke engine — so named because it completes one cycle of internal combustion in two movements of the piston — is lightweight, cheap, compact and simple, which makes it a handy motor not just for leaf blowers but also for chain saws, lawn mowers and jet skis. (There are also four-stroke leaf blowers, which use the same type of engine that powers your car and offer more complete combustion and less air pollution, but they are typically larger and more expensive.)

The two-stroke engine has developed a reputation as an environmental hazard. Because the engine lacks an independent lubrication system, fuel has to be mixed with oil. More important, about 30 percent of the fuel the engine uses fails to undergo complete combustion; as a result, the engine emits a number of air pollutants. Carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons escape from the engine in large quantities. Everyone knows the acute effects of carbon monoxide, but the other gases are equally worrisome. Both nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons contribute to smog formation. Hydrocarbons can be carcinogenic, and nitrous oxides can cause acid rain.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com
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Popular Q&A
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Are gas powered leaf blowers illegal in LA county?

It seems that gas powered leaf blowers are in fact illegal in LA County, according to Zapla.org That is quite a weird law!

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