We may not think much about the occasional leaf blower running his rounds and blowing the leaves off the pavements with the machine. With the increased emphasis on being more environmentally-friendly, it is crucial to note that leaf blowers could actually pose as threats that jeopardize the environment, especially when they are not used properly.

Air pollution

Gas-powered leaf blowers may endanger our environment because they are two-stroke, meaning they burn both gas and oil in the process. In addition, leaf blowers release harmful particles, also called particulate matter, into the air. This particulate matter may remain in the air for some time before they settle, thus lowering the air quality and polluting it.

To bring across the seriousness of the situation, it has been found that gas-powered leaf blowers emit a large amount of air pollutants, making it almost equivalent to that of an automobile which has covered over 700 kilometres at a speed of 48km/h. In other words, operating a leaf blower for an hour will emit several hundreds of times more hydrocarbons and about 26 times more carbon monoxide than your average car. The difference is that cars travel across long stretches of roads and emit them over longer distances, whereas leaf blowers emit that large amount of harmful air pollutants into a selected small area.


High-velocity leaf blowers suspend pollutants and dust. The dust that may be spewed into the air together with the particulate matter may consist of pesticides, fungi, faecal matter, fertilizers, chemicals and other kinds of dirt which could comprise cadmium, lead and carbon. Particulate matter takes a long time to settle, making the environment dusty and dirty. This is further worsened by the fact that leaf blowers are often used in residential areas, make the nearby air harmful for people in the neighbourhood.

Noise pollution

Leaf blowers produce loud noises when in operation and can go up to 65 to 75 decibels. The average noise level should be around 55 decibels or less and 45 decibels in the early mornings or late nights for people to sleep comfortably. This is not to mention that leaf blowers will probably record higher noise levels (higher than 75 decibels) when you get closer to the machine. When noise levels get too high, it could be harmful to our ears or cause hearing loss. Moreover, it will be even worse for whoever is manning the leaf blower. For a more conducive and peaceful environment, leaf blowers should never be on full throttle and should only be used when necessary at the appropriate timings.

Denuding soil

Many a times, leaf blowers remove leaves from the surfaces of soil. While this may seem to be an act of making the surroundings clean, it is actually not a good thing to do. Blowing the leaves off soil will only increase the chances of soil erosion. The presence of leaves on the soil also serves to cool it during warmer seasons. Additionally, it increases the amount of organic matter and helps to save water.

These are the 4 major impacts that leaf blowers have on our environment. Although they get things done faster, it is not a sound practice if all they are going to do is to give us a less healthy environment. It is better to be educated on its environmental effects so that we can recognize, modify and implement alternatives which are beneficial to everyone.