A leaf blower, commonly known as blower, is a gardening tool that propels air out of a nozzle to move debris such as leaves and grass cuttings. Leaf blowers are powered by electric or gasoline motors. Gasoline models have traditionally been two-stroke engines, but four-stroke engines were recently introduced to partially address air pollution concerns. Leaf blowers are typically self-contained handheld units, or backpack mounted units with a handheld wand. The latter is more ergonomic for prolonged use. Larger units may rest on wheels and even use a motor for propulsion.These are sometimes called "walk behind leaf blowers" because they must be pushed by hand to be operated.
Some units can also suck in leaves and small twigs via a vacuum, and shred them into a bag. In that role it is called a blower vac.
Drought conditions in California facilitated acceptance of the leaf blower as the use of water for many garden clean-up tasks was prohibited. Leaf blowers also save time compared to a broom.By 1990, annual sales were over 800,000 in the U.S., and the tool had become a ubiquitous gardening implement.
Other functions beyond the simple use of garden maintenance have been demonstrated by Richard Hammond on the Brainiac television series, in which a man sized hovercraft was constructed from a leaf blower. Being both portable and able to generate wind speeds of between 140–270 miles per hour (63–121 m/s) and air volumes of 14 m3 per minute, the leaf blower has many potential uses in amateur construction projects.
The origin of the leaf blower originated in 1947 as a backpack fogger apparatus, invented by Japanese-based Kyoritsu Noki Company. Kyoritsu followed that design with a backpack/blower/misting machine in 1955. in 1968, Kyoritsu applied for patent on a backpack blower mister design, and in 1972 established themselves in the United States as Kioritz Corporation of America, and is said to have invented the first leaf blower in 1977. The company changed their name to Echo in 1978.
Amongst such rival manufacturers as Stihl, Weed Eater, and Husqvarna, Echo saw the sales of leaf blowers in the 70's explode. It is estimated that the sale of leaf blowers in the U.S., had exceeded 1 million units by 1989.
While the invention of leaf blowers created a buzz amongst commercial and residential homeowners, environmental groups were not as impressed. Namely, due to the only available power source derived for the leaf blower being the combustion engine. Besides producing known air pollutants, gas-powered leaf blowers were also rightly identified as a major source of noise pollution.
To meet the 1995 California regulations for noise and air pollution, leaf blower manufacturers modified the current engine designs to comply, however, 1999 regulations were far more stringent, forcing the engineering of a quieter, more compliant 2-stroke engine design. While leaf blowers were becoming more tolerable in U.S. suburban neighborhoods, many communities had by now in fact, banned their use. In the mid 2000s and to further answer critics, manufacturers once again evolved the leaf blower, with the use of NICad (nickel-cadmium) powered tool design to create the first cordless leaf blower. The new NiCad battery-powered leaf blower designs, were to further improved by way of the more powerful, and longer run time lithium-ion batteries, which incorporate most cordless leaf blowers marketed today. Cordless leaf blowers today operate with zero emissions, and operate at an estimated 70% reduction, compared to the noise level produced by its predecessors.
Emissions from gasoline-powered grounds-keeping equipment in general are a source of air pollutionand more immediately (when powered by internal combustion engines, rather than by electricity), noise pollution. In the United States, US emission standards prescribe maximum emissions from small engines. The two-stroke engines used in most leaf blowers operate by mixing gasoline with oil, and a third of this mixture is not burned, but is emitted as an aerosol exhaust. These pollutants have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and asthma. A 2011 study found that the amount of NMHC pollutants emitted by a leaf blower operated for 30 minutes is comparable to the amount emitted by a Ford F-150 pickup truck driving from Texas to Alaska.
In addition to the adverse health effects of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulates generated in the exhaust gas of the gasoline-powered engines, leaf blowers pose problems related to dust raised by the powerful flow of air. Dust clouds caused by leaf blowers contain potentially harmful substances such as pesticides, mold, and animal fecal matter that may cause irritation, allergies, and disease.[ citation needed ]
Noise pollution is also a concern with leaf blowers, as they can emit noise levels above those required to cause hearing loss to both the operator and those nearby.[ citation needed ]
Leaf blowers also present an occupational hearing hazard to the nearly 1 million people who work in lawn service and ground-keeping. dB(A), both far exceeding the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit of 85 dB(A)A recent study assessed the occupational noise exposure among groundskeepers at several North Carolina public universities and found noise levels from leaf blowers averaging 89 decibels (A-weighted) and maximum sound pressure levels reaching 106
Soon after the leaf blower was introduced into the U.S., its use was banned in two California cities, Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1975 and Beverly Hills in 1978, as a noise nuisance. There are currently twenty California cities that have banned leaf blowers, sometimes only within residential neighborhoods and usually targeting gasoline-powered equipment. Another 80 cities have ordinances on the books restricting either usage or noise level or both.
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy. Heat engines, like the internal combustion engine, burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to do work. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion, pneumatic motors use compressed air, and clockwork motors in wind-up toys use elastic energy. In biological systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscles, use chemical energy to create forces and ultimately motion.
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. In 2015, pollution killed 9 million people in the world.
Noise is unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when the brain receives and perceives a sound.
A lawn mower is a machine utilizing one or more revolving blades to cut a grass surface to an even height. The height of the cut grass may be fixed by the design of the mower, but generally is adjustable by the operator, typically by a single master lever, or by a lever or nut and bolt on each of the machine's wheels. The blades may be powered by manual force, with wheels mechanically connected to the cutting blades so that when the mower is pushed forward, the blades spin, or the machine may have a battery-powered or plug-in electric motor. The most common self-contained power source for lawn mowers is a small internal combustion engine. Smaller mowers often lack any form of propulsion, requiring human power to move over a surface; "walk-behind" mowers are self-propelled, requiring a human only to walk behind and guide them. Larger lawn mowers are usually either self-propelled "walk-behind" types, or more often, are "ride-on" mowers, equipped so the operator can ride on the mower and control it. A robotic lawn mower is designed to operate either entirely on its own, or less commonly by an operator by remote control.
A string trimmer, also called a "weed eater", "whipper-snipper", "weed-whacker", "weed-whip", "line trimmer" or "strimmer", is a garden tool for cutting grass and groundcover which uses a flexible monofilament line instead of a blade. It consists of a rotating spindle from which the string protrudes, at the end of a long shaft with a handle. String trimmers are commonly used for cutting low foliage near obstacles or on steep or irregular terrain.
Vehicle emissions control is the study of reducing the emissions produced by motor vehicles, especially internal combustion engines.
A zero-emissions vehicle, or ZEV, is a vehicle that emits no exhaust gas from the onboard source of power. Harmful pollutants to the health and the environment include particulates (soot), hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen. Although not considered emission pollutants by the original California Air Resources Board (CARB) or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) definitions, the most recent common use of the term also includes volatile organic compounds, several air toxics, and global pollutants such as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Exhaust gas or flue gas is emitted as a result of the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, petrol, biodiesel blends, diesel fuel, fuel oil, or coal. According to the type of engine, it is discharged into the atmosphere through an exhaust pipe, flue gas stack, or propelling nozzle. It often disperses downwind in a pattern called an exhaust plume.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air, a trait known as volatility. For example, formaldehyde, which evaporates from paint and releases from materials like resin, has a boiling point of only –19 °C (–2 °F).
Diesel exhaust is the gaseous exhaust produced by a diesel type of internal combustion engine, plus any contained particulates. Its composition may vary with the fuel type or rate of consumption, or speed of engine operation, and whether the engine is in an on-road vehicle, farm vehicle, locomotive, marine vessel, or stationary generator or other application.
The National Emissions Standards Act, officially known as the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act, is a 1965 amendment to the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1963. The amendment set the first federal vehicle emissions standards, beginning with the 1968 models. These standards were reductions from the 1963 emissions: 72% reduction for hydrocarbons, 56% reduction for carbon monoxide, and 100% reduction for crankcase hydrocarbons. The impact the regulatory standards will have on air quality in the future, as well as the potential characteristics of the vehicle fleet can be analyzed with the use of roadway air dispersion models.
Groundskeeping is the activity of tending an area of land for aesthetic or functional purposes; typically in an institutional setting. It includes mowing grass, trimming hedges, pulling weeds, planting flowers, etc. The U.S. Department of Labor estimated that more than 900,000 workers are employed in the landscape maintenance and groundskeeping services industry in the United States in 2006. Of these over 300,000 workers were greenskeepers for golf courses, schools, resorts, and public parks. Compare gardener.
Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases, particulates, and biological molecules are introduced into Earth's atmosphere. It may cause diseases, allergies and even death to humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution.
In the United States, emissions standards are managed nationally by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). State and local governments may apply for waivers to enact stricter regulations.
Title 40 is a part of the United States Code of Federal Regulations. Title 40 arranges mainly environmental regulations that were promulgated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), based on the provisions of United States laws. Parts of the regulation may be updated annually on July 1.
This article discusses topics related to the environment of Pakistan
The Clean Air Act of 1963 is a United States federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level. It is one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws, and one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world. As with many other major U.S. federal environmental statutes, it is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with state, local, and tribal governments. Its implementing regulations are codified at 40 C.F.R. Sub-chapter C, Parts 50-97.
John J. Mooney is an American chemical engineer who was co-inventor of the three-way catalytic converter, which has played a dramatic role in reducing pollution from motor vehicles since their introduction in the mid-1970s.
Pollution in California relates to the degree of pollution in the air, water, and land of the state of California. Pollution is defined as the addition of any substance or any form of energy to the environment at a faster rate than it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form. The combination of three main factors are the cause of notable unhealthy levels of air pollution in California: the activities of over 39 million people, a mountainous terrain that traps pollution, and a warm climate that helps form ozone and other pollutants. Eight of the ten cities in the US with the highest year-round concentration of particulate matter between 2013 and 2015 were in California, and seven out of the ten cities in the US with the worst ozone pollution were also in California. Studies show that pollutants prevalent in California are linked to several health issues, including asthma, lung cancer, birth complications, and premature death. In 2016, Bakersfield, California recorded the highest level of airborne pollutants of any city in the United States.
An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, rotor or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy.
Blasting out air at hurricane-force speeds, leaf blowers spread allergens, toxins, pollutants and pathogens into the air we breathe
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