Yale Professor pushes for New Haven leaf blower ban

(WTNH / Kevin Pflaumer)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – An emergency medical expert and Yale professor wants the City of New Haven to ban leaf blowers for a host of health and environmental reasons.

“During the daytime, it’s literally one leaf blower after another, and some days it’s constant, so I started to do a little research,” said Dr. Karen Jubanyik of the Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Jubanyik is used to research. She is a doctor and professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He research led her to a study by auto industry reviewer Edmunds. It compared a two stroke leaf blower to a Ford 150 pickup truck. The leaf blower puts out 23 times the carbon monoxide, twice the oxides of nitrogen, and a huge amount more hydrocarbons. That last part is what really stuck out to Dr. Jubanyik.

“The amount of pollution released into the air from 30 minutes of leaf blowing is the equivalent of driving all the way from Texas to Alaska,” Jubanyik said.

There is, or course, the noise pollution, which is the part of leaf blowing to which most people object.

“Not to mention all the dirt and particulate matter on the ground,” said Jubanyik. “Thirty minutes of leaf blowing stirs up 5 pounds of this material and this includes viruses, pesticides, herbicides, pollen.”

Which can all cause health problems, which is why she is looking to ban leaf blowers. Landscapers say blowers are a crucial tool for their industry. Junbanyik says leaf blower bans have worked in other places.

“In California, for example, they have had bans that have been successful,” Jubanyik said. “In L.A., you can’t use a leaf blower within 500 feet of a residence.”

Jubanyik said she is an educator, so she is working on getting her information out to the public. She says she will leave the drafting of any legislation to lawmakers.

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