NEW: Forest Park/South Avondale passes resolution to discourage use of gas-powered leaf blowers

Screen Shot 2022 06 14 at 3.30.50 PM NEW: Forest Park/South Avondale passes resolution to discourage use of gas-powered leaf blowers
Hopefully, you’ll be seeing less of these around your neighborhood. (Unsplash)

From noisy motors to dangerous air pollutants, gas-powered leaf blowers have more negative repercussions than you may think. At a meeting on Tuesday, June 7, the Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association voted unanimously to start making the switch to electric battery pack leaf blowers. Read on for more details.

Why it matters

Having your quiet morning ruined by a noisy leaf blower is certainly a bothersome experience, but did you know the use of these machines also has a major impact on your neighborhood, your health and the health of others?

When it comes to using gas-powered leaf blowers, there are three main points of concern:

  1. The noise level that disturbs the serenity of the neighborhood
  2. The negative environmental impact caused by the air pollution from the two-cycle gas-powered engines
  3. Lawn care workers are put at serious risk of permanent hearing loss from operating the machines. They can produce noise as high as 112 decibels. Exposure to sounds over 110 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss in just one minute.

In the two-cycle engines, oil and gasoline are mixed together and as a result, unburned aerosol that is extremely damaging to the environment (even more polluting than automobiles) is spewed into our air.

Luckily, the Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association has passed a resolution to advocate for the use of electric battery pack leaf blowers instead.

“Many people who use these yard services that use gasoline-driven leaf blowers have no idea about the air pollution, noise pollution and hearing damage that they’re creating that’s overall diminishing the quality of life living in one of Birmingham’s most prestigious neighborhoods.”

Tom Cosby, Development Director, Birmingham Landmarks, Inc.

Listening to the neighborhood

According to a survey from the Forest Park-South Avondale Neighborhood Association, 82% of residents saw gas-powered leaf blowers as a problem and 76% believed the neighborhood association should address it.

Here is the resolution regarding the gas-powered leaf blowers that was passed unanimously:

“The Forest Park-South Avondale Neighborhood Association, proudly representing one of Birmingham’s most forward-thinking neighborhoods, endorses and recommends the use of battery pack powered leaf blowers as the preferred alternative to polluting, noisy 2 cycle gasoline-powered leaf blowers with their harmful effect on air quality, potential for hearing damage to residents (& especially lawncare workers) and decrease in our neighborhood’s overall serenity and quality of life.”

How you can help

There are communities all over the nation there that are banning gas-powered leaf blowers and with this resolution, neighborhoods around Birmingham are starting to follow suit.

There are plenty of ways you can help address this issue. If you have the means, Forest Park-South Avondale Neighborhood Association recommends buying a battery pack leaf blower for yard service professionals (or yourself) to use. Battery-powered leaf blowers can be purchased on Amazon for as little as $39.

“What would Forest Park/South Avondale look like if we all said no to gas blowers? There might be a few more leaves left on the ground. But it would smell better, sound better and be a safer, kinder place to all of us who call it home.”

Forest Park-South Avondale Neighborhood Association

The neighborhood association will be leafleting properties in the neighborhood encouraging the use of battery-powered leaf blowers in the community. You can help by spreading the word to your neighbors and assisting your trusted lawn care providers to make the switch as well.

Find a full list of FAQs regarding the resolution, here.

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Gabby Gervais
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