GreenTown Los Altos

City of Los Altos Considering Repeal of Gas Leaf Blower Ban


Feb 2011


The City of Los Altos will consider repealing an ordinance which, in 1991, banned gas leaf blowers. According to the California Air Resources Board, gas leaf blowers produce excessive noise, dangerous combustion products (including hydrocarbons that can form ground level ozone; carbon monoxide; particulate matter; and other toxic by-products), and fugitive dust (such as pollen; animal feces; pesticides; and molds). Read their report.  As a result, more than 100 cities have banned gas leaf blowers in residential areas.

Gas leaf blowers are unhealthy for walkers, cyclists, children playing, and people enjoying their yards. Come out and make your voice heard at tonight’s City Council Meeting, Feb. 8, 2011 at 7pm in the City Council Chambers at 1 No. San Antonio Rd. Or email City Council with your opinion today. For more information, please contact Myra Orta at or by phone at 650 968 8476.

4 Responses to “City of Los Altos Considering Repeal of Gas Leaf Blower Ban”

  1. Bill Biddle

    I think the whole leaf blower thing is making a mountain out of a molehill. When I am home (not much), I do find it annoying. However enforcement is a problem; the LAPD has more important items to address.

    One problem is that homeowners are not home during the day to direct the landscape maintenance people.

    Another problem is that hostile neighbors can use the leaf blower ordinance as a club to harass their neighbors.

  2. Linda Ziff

    The CA Air Resources Board documents that gas leaf blowers emit 500 times the amount of hydrocarbons and 26 times the amount of carbon monoxide compared with newer cars. In addition to pollution from toxic exhaust fumes, gas leaf blowers blow up mold, pollen, animal feces, pesticides and fertilizers.The CA Air Resources Board found that leaf blowers emit 8-49 times the particulate matter of a light duty vehicle. Particulate matter remains suspended in the air for hours and is so minute that it’s easily assimilated into the lungs.
    The Bay Area Air Quality Management District recommends 9 things the public can do to make clean air choices every day. One of those 9 is “avoid using gas powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers.”

  3. Bob Kjr

    So electric blowers are okay?? Don’t they also blow up mold, pollen, animal feces, pesticides and fertilizers leaving particulate matter suspended for hours. Please explain how electric blowers are so different from gas powered blowers.

    • Linda Ziff

      Rakes and brooms are the best, but electric blowers are better for the environment than gas blowers. Electric blowers do not reach the noise levels of 70 dB and above that the gas blowers do. They do not give off the toxic exhaust fumes and emission, a major source of air pollution, that the gas blower engines do. Electric blowers are generally less powerful and, therefore, blow less of the particulate matter and other toxic substances into the air.
      Summer’s coming with the usual “spare the air days” expected. Rakes and brooms (or electric blowers if you must) on those days will help us all breathe better.

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