Letter to the Editor: Council must act on leaf blower bill

Some community members have sought a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, citing noise and environmental concerns. (Brian Kapur/The Current/June 2016)

Quieter, healthier alternatives exist to the ubiquitous gas-powered leaf blowers. In addition to noise and pollution risks posed to children, dogs, the elderly, asthmatics and all of us, these machines pose enormous hazards to those who operate them.

Now, we have reason to hope for quieter, safer machines in the District. Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh has introduced a bill with four cosponsors to phase out the sale and use of gas-powered leaf blowers by Jan. 1, 2022.

The next step is for Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to schedule a hearing before the Committee of the Whole. If you share my concern about the health impacts of these leaf blowers that produce sound levels and dangerous levels of microparticles linked to cardiac disease, insomnia and cancer, I hope you will join me in urging Chairman Mendelson to hold a public hearing on this bill. You can sign our petition at tinyurl.com/quietcleandc-petition (and note if you live in D.C.).

To learn more about the considerable risks of these machines via noise and pollution, go to quietcleandc.com.

Susan Orlins, Washington, D.C.