Let’s Rake Citizens’ Group raises awareness about the health hazards of Leaf Blowers

Rake against wooden fence
Let’s Rake Citizens’ Group raises awareness about the health hazards of Leaf Blowers
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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A about a year ago a group of concerned citizens came together to talk about the noise and air pollution created by 2 stroke commercial leaf blowers. The leader of the group is Bob Miller, a retired elementary school teacher who lives in Bronte. After initial discussions, the group of 6 families decided to create a website, do more research, and meet with their local town councillor Ralph Robinson. They’ll be holding a meeting with stakeholders on December 1, 2015.

The concern regarding leaf blowers initially focused around noise and air pollution. As they started to do a little more research on the topic, they found out a few more interesting facts that helped to support the decision that the town of Oakville should regulate leaf blowers.

From a health perspective the dust that is kicked up by leaf blowers can contain mouse droppings along with several other dangerous toxins. The American Lung Association examined the toxins in street dust and also found molds, pollen, and even arsenic.

Aside from air and noise pollution, the powerful air flow created by commercial leaf blowers strips the top soil, destroys root systems, and kills micro-organism that keep our soils healthy.

The Let’s Rake general meeting will take place on December 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the Atrium of Town Hall. The full agenda is listed on the Let’s Rake website, and notable speakers include: Sean James a Master gardener at Fern Ridge Landscaping, and family doctor, Ted Mitchell who will talk about the health issues.

Should the town of Oakville decide to ban commercial leaf blowers, it would be joining such communities as the City of Vancouver, Aspen, Los Angeles, and 44 other communities in California. Complete information about Let’s Rake can be found on their website: www.LetsRake.com.



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Readers Comments (7)

  1. Bernard German says:

    Create a culture – not yet another law. if this is a problem in certain neighbourhoods, then treat it as such. why does it have to cover all of Oakville. speak to your neighbor or whomever is causing your irritation. Tell them you have a problem with what they are doing. Don’t go run to the town looking for another ban.

  2. Michael Griffin says:

    Seriously, is this a real problem? Add this to the list of first world problems. What happened to common sense. There are bigger battles that could benefit our community more. With all the problems we have in this province this is an embarrassment.

  3. Paul McCallum says:

    The city of Vancouver does not have a ban on leaf blowers. One very small community in Vancouver has a noise level by law. There are some small communities in California with “unenforced” bans. The “toxin” levels are relative to what? Soil erosion, root systems, micro-organisms? Really folks, this is irresponsible fact-bending propaganda. Low-noise leaf-blowers are readily available. We all have to put up with a little dust now and then.

    • E. Kaplan says:

      1) According to what is on Vancouver’s By-law site, there is a ban in Van. WEST END.
      The City allows ONLY so-called ‘quiet’ or low-noise blowers.
      2) Yes, Paul, they are available, but no one in my area (Bronte, Oakville) uses them, whether private home owners or pro maintenance companies.
      3) Toxins: for one, the mix of oil + gas from these ‘weapons’ of mass acoustic bombardment.
      to be continued..

  4. Ms. I. Theegarten says:

    I hate the noise and stink that most leaf blowers make! It nauseates me. People who use leaf blowers in excess instead of using a rake are simply LAZY!
    Go for some exercise, a rake does a much better job anyway and nobody gets sick from the pollution a leaf blower creates. I enjoy raking and bagging my leaves, my lawn and curb is always clean.Yes, you can do it too!!

  5. M says:

    Even though the pollution and noise is excessive and damaging, if you want to get rid of a lot of blowers,talking dollars is the only way,… save six figure sums for Oakville taxpayers, see what this town (population 6500) is doing….cost to town is $0, and the lawns and gardens are healthier, as is the air you breath.


  6. E. Kaplan says:

    Reply to “M” Dec.18, 2015: Commonsense options(raking,sweeping,mulching,etc) keep us in-touch with our ‘outdoors’. The OVERKILL of HURRICANE FORCE (125 mph) ‘wind’ from leaf blowers destroys topsoil, naturalizing seeds, disperses sub-surface moulds/allergens, + blower-engine pollution and ear-damaging noise. If I were an OPME* worker, I would REFUSE to use a leaf blower! Vibration (hours of) from the blower engines (backpacks) travel users’ spinal columns, gradually damaging the inner ear structure. WHO with a functioning brain would CHOOSE this? That is only ONE effect.
    *Outdoor Property Maintenance Equipment


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