For Our Safety, the City Should Suspend Leaf Blowers Now
Leaf blowers, as we know, send columns of dirt flying into the air as much as five or six feet and beyond. It is logical to assume that anything on the ground in small enough particles to become airborne will end up in these dust clouds and then be inhaled by anyone in the area. There is documented evidence that the Hanta Virus can be spread this way. Shouldn’t we also presume that the novel corona virus is just as viable and capable of being blown around by leaf blowers?
According to a study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, when the virus becomes suspended in droplets it can stay suspended for about a half-hour before drifting down and settling on surfaces, where it can linger for hours. These surfaces could be your own doorknobs, car door handles, the chairs you sit on in your back yard, the playground equipment your children play on. The same study also found that the virus lives longest on plastic and steel, surviving for up to 72 hours.
During this time when people are staying home for their own safety and to contain the inevitable spread of this deadly pathogen, wouldn’t it be wise to eliminate the use of leaf blowers in order to protect us all? How can we be safe from this unseen enemy when the very air we breathe in our homes and yards may be contaminated by it – through no fault of our own? Anything we can do to protect ourselves at this uncertain time is crucial.
- Bonnie Council