Leaf Blowers Daily Dust Boost
. . . Large haze clouds over the Indian Ocean contribute as much to atmospheric warming as do greenhouse gases and play a significant role in the melting of Himalayan glaciers.
The pollution—mostly from burning wood and plants used in cooking—enhanced the atmosphere's warning by about fifty percent and contributed to about half the temperature increases blamed in recent decades for glacial retreat . . .
 Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
. . . The curtains lifted on the first vacuum salesman. He dumped a ceremonial amount of dust and lint on the floor, and with great fanfare turned on his “vacuum”. With a great blast it cleaned the floor, blowing dirt off the stage and into the air. The floor was clean, the air filled with grit, and the audience was coughing as they fled the theatre. Vacuum sales that day: zero. Another century passed before the original home cleaner was reborn as the leaf blower . . .
 Follies Of Science, Eric and Jonathon Dregni

This scene is repeated three million times per day in California

Precisely how this is related to “landscaping” or “gardening” or “cleaning up after the job” has never been explained satisfactorily. And, in fact, whatever you might call this activity, this was the entire “job”.

How would you like this in your neighbourhood? The shadowy figure hiding in a cloud of his own pollution spent three or four hours boosting up this dust. . .

'Landscaping' American Style

Every dry day, dust blowers (also known as leaf blowers) boost over ninety thousand tons of dust into your California air at two hundred miles per hour, potentially creating health hazards. That's eighteen million tons of dust per year.

At current growth, there will be over six million dust blowers in California by 2016, boosting over one-hundred-and-eighty thousand tons of dust per day into your air. That's over thirty-two million tons of dust every year.

Fixed-source industries polluting on this scale would be shut down by regulators.

Daily Dust Boost

This boosted dust is potentially hazardous to your health.

The California Air Resources Board ( ARB ) estimates that fifty-two percent of dust boosted by the noise bazookas consists of PM10 particlesparticles equal in size to or smaller than ten microns in diameter. Particles of this size will enter the tissues of the lungs if inhaled.

A common rationalisation of the dust-blowing and noise-making industry is: “blown dust is only transitory”.

Like all of the dust-blowing and noise-making industry spin-meistering spew, this utterance is also air pollution . . .
In dry areas (such as California), PM10 particles remain in the air for ten to twenty hours. In really dry conditions (such as California), finer particles can blow around up to a thousand days, and smaller particles can travel miles.


According to the report from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography cited above, atmospheric haze is a large contributor to faster glacial melting. So we must question the wisdom of paying people to walk around our California streets twelve hours or more every day, blowing thousands of tons of dust into the air at two hundred miles per hour.

That boosted dust is heavily concentrated in urban areas of California.

Eighty percent of the population of California lives in just four large conurbations. The tens of thousands of tons of every-day blown dust from the ever-increasing army of dust blowers is similarly concentrated in these same urban and suburban areas. The average density of airborne dust in these areas is up to six times as high as average densities in areas free of noise bazookas.


This picture was taken in January 2007 in San Carlos, looking East toward San Francisco Bay.

The waters of the Bay, San Mateo Bridge, and Mount Diablo, are invisible. The summit of Mount Diablo is 3,850 feet. The layer of smog and dust is estimated at about a mile high.

When somebody asks you to join “The Mile High Club”, they likely have quite another scenario in mind . . .

Bay Area Pollution Cloud

Seriously, more than twenty thousand tons of dust pumped into the air of the Bay Area every dry day of the year must have some effect.

Estimating how much of this smog is created by the depredations of the army of dust blowers is uncertain, but we can state with reasonable confidence that the number is (probably large amounts) greater than zero.


In addition to fuel and energy wasted generating broad-spectrum, high-volume, long-duration NOISE, dust blowers waste significant amounts of fuel and energy boosting the daily dust storm. As of 2007, we have yet to see a sensible explanation (that is, an explanation that make sense to normal reasonable people) of the value created for California's economy by the ninety thousand tons of boosted dust and the energy wasted boosting it.

Contact Office Of The Governor
The Obvious Conclusion . . .

The clear answer to this pernicious source of air and water pollution is to
exercise your choice and eliminate leaf blowers from California.


This Web Page Updated 2007 November 30