Leaf blowers raise dust clouds that may contain pollen, animal feces, pesticide residues, fungi and street dirt containing tire rubber, heavy metals and carbon dust, with especially harmful tiny inhalable particles that have been linked to higher hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory illness.
The Los Angeles Department of Power and Water pitted a grandmother with a rake and broom against a professional landscaper with leaf blowers. In three test cycles, the grandmother cleaned the area faster and better than any of the electric blowers and 80% as fast as the gas-powered blowers.
From the "Reader's Digest" editors: “Your local home center is always eager to sell you the latest ‘labor-saving’ device for lawn and garden maintenance. But few inventions in human history are as useless and obnoxious as the leaf blower. These contraptions are absurd wasters of energy and are so loud they have been banned by many municipalities... They don’t work as well as the humble rake, which is more precise, more tenacious, offers exercise to the user... Next time a salesperson thrusts a leaf blower at you at a garden center, ask to see their rake selection.”
Loreen Folsom, Missoula