People in Toronto really don't like leaf blowers and want them banned
People are signing a petition for Toronto City Council to ban 2-stroke leaf blowers and other garden equipment.
City Council is set to vote on a motion to enforce this ban next year. The petition is urging them to follow the likes of 100 American cities and the west-end of the City of Vancouver and pass a ban.
According to the motion, "gasoline-powered leaf blowers and other types of small engine equipment are powered by inefficient two-stroke engines."
These are known for generating dangerous hydrocarbon, 500 times more than an average car. They are also said to produce a toxic aerosol that humans then breathe in.
City Council is requesting that the City Manager, in consultation with the Medical Officer of Health, report back in the first quarter of 2021 on the impacts that these kinds of machines have. They will also discuss the feasibility of a year-round ban or a ban from May to September.
However, many people including the creator of the petition, Wayne Hall, have had enough of the noisy machines and want to see a complete ban.
The petition and motion mention other negative impacts of leaf blowers, including the death of small animals and insects due to suction, contribution to air pollution and exposure to fine particulates that they say can increase the risk of lung-disease and significantly raise the risk of death from COVID-19.
Ultimately, though, what many people supporting the petition are frustrated with is the noise created by these machines. The petition claims that noise from leaf blowers can cause "hearing loss, hypertension, loss of productivity, and can even negatively impact children's cognitive development."
People have been sharing the petition on Facebook and Twitter and explaining their reasons for wanting the ban.
I rent an apartment in a wealthy Toronto neighbourhood (despite lacking wealth) and the obsession with leaf blowers is extremely obnoxious. Rakes apparently don't exist once you get into a certain salary range.— Adrienne Middlebrook (@adiemiddle) November 16, 2020
"I'm angry with gagging on the fumes of gasoline-powered leaf blowers. I also think they are dangerous to the people employed to use them," wrote one supporter.
To date, over 1,500 people have signed the petition.
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