Prove your humanity

By James Zipprodt | WDIY

A new report finds that leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and weed whackers aren’t just creating a lot of noise in neighborhoods throughout Pennsylvania — they’re also creating significant amounts of air pollution.

According to a report by the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, gas-powered gardening equipment created 965 tons of fine particulates in 2020, which is more pollution than that caused by 10 million cars. Pennsylvania ranked fourth among all states in these emissions. Montgomery County alone produced more pollution with lawn equipment than the entire state of Delaware combined.

Ellie Kerns, Climate and Clean Energy Associate with PennEnvironment, says that while many people are annoyed by the loud noise caused by these tools, not too many people realize the impact they’re having on the environment.

PennEnvironment explains that the pollutants emitted by these gas-powered tools can cause asthma attacks, reproductive ailments, mental health challenges, cancer, and in some cases even premature death. They also highlighted the use of fossil fuels, which means that there’s emission of carbon dioxide, which has been linked to climate change.

In 2020 alone, more than a million tons of climate and air pollutants were released in Pennsylvania as a result of gas-powered equipment.

The report says that policy changes can be made at state and local levels, including financial incentives and promises by businesses and governments to convert to electric-powered equipment.

PennEnvironment emphasized our ability to reduce our air pollution by switching to cleaner and readily available electric tools. They would provide better methods of lawn care, and they wouldn’t require so much pollution – or noise.