I can imagine a place like a hospital site that in preparing the land for the building thereof, water is generously spread around in an effort to keep fugitive dust down.
So, it would seem ironic or highly incongruous then that after the facility is built that found is the blowing of said dust, dirt, debris on these very grounds.
It is an action that is extremely counterintuitive when you consider that the hospital itself is an apparatus where patient healing is the number one concern.
I know of an example of the use of an internal-combustion-engine-powered leaf-blower on said premises. The exception and not the rule, I hope.
If such medical facilities have patient care and well-being foremost in mind at all times, why, on such grounds, is use of leaf-blowers for the aforementioned dust, dirt and debris-clearing even allowed?
I mean no one in their right mind would ever entertain using one of these for inside-the-home cleaning, right?
Okay, so, say that was to be done. What this would amount to, in effect, is a disturbance, dustup, the detritus forced-air-moved from this location to that, akin to sweeping it under the rug.
Well, in thinking, if used in the same way, outside the home, business, academic, medical or other like site, with said leaf-blower-moved dust, dirt and debris, it is little if any different.
Now, a concerned individual I have been in email communication with informed me that leaf blowers, in terms of how they are used, cannot be legislated.
That may be true. But, what if they could be as it has to do with, not how, but where they’re employed?
If loud enough, warranted could be protection for the ear. And as for the amount of pollution the engine emits? If high enough, this too, could warrant protection. I’m thinking, of the respiratory system, in this case.
Now I know for a fact that in my locale during cold-weather months there are wood-burning restrictions that go into effect – prohibitions even. Those burning wood in fireplaces, for example, can be fined if the concentration of fine particulates in the local air rises above a certain amount.
So, what I can envision is a system that is in place to monitor grounds-cleanup activity via mobile or portable monitoring equipment and if the concentration in the air of blown particles is such that it exceeds an established threshold, fines could be issued.
I mean, after all, polluted air is polluted air and at or above a certain concentration and in this regard there have been situations that when breathed in, has caused bodily harm.
For those whose jobs it is to clean or maintain residential, commercial, industrial, medical – public – grounds, to expect, for purposes of assessing the quality of air around these individuals, that a personal air-quality monitoring device be worn, I realize would be a stretch. But, that way, there would at least be a practical method for determining the level or concentration of certain air pollutants these individuals are exposed to during the course of their work.
Some will no doubt conclude that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill and much ado about nothing. But, am I, really?
This notwithstanding, if the idea here in the end is to better protect the lives of lawn-care professionals and grounds crew and facility maintenance personnel as well as members of the public at large, then, you know what?
I’m all for it!
Image (bottom): Anthony Appleyard
– Alan Kandel