A community organization in Oakville, whose concern is the overuse of noisy, polluting leaf blowers

Leaf blowers - proposed restrictions in the town of Oakville


by Ted Mitchell MD, BEng

"This article investigates some of the known and potential harms arising from the use of leaf blowers and their impact on quality of life in city neighbourhoods..."



Dr. Ted Mitchell is a Hamilton, Ontario resident, emergency physician and sometimes agitator who recently completed a BEng at McMaster University. He is fascinated by aspects of our culture that are harmful, but avoid serious public discussions.

Essential Reading


Dangerous Noise Levels

Leaf blowers operate at noise levels between 80-120 decibels;
on-going noise levels over 65 dB negatively impact the inner ear.  The human brain perceives leaf blower noise at an even higher decibel level because of their complex waveforms and unique harmonics, making leaf blowers IMPOSSIBLE to IGNORE.

They alarm us, alert us, simulating police sirens, fire alarms, emergency 
warning noises. Even at a distance of 50 meters a 2-stroke leaf blower noise penetrates every room of a house, even a concrete basement. 

More information & resources


Quiet Communities www.quietcommunities.org

In Which the Dreaded Leaf Blower Gets its Come-uppance by Dr. Ted Mitchell
Raise The Hammer


How Loud and How Long
For every 3 dB above 85 dBA, the maximum exposure time is cut in half.
·        At 100 decibels, damage can occur with 15 minutes of exposure.
·        At 112 decibels, damage can occur with only one minute of exposure.
·        At 140 decibels, immediate nerve damage can occur.
·        www.noisehelp.com/noise-dose.html

Citizens for a quieter Sacramento – Leaf Blower facts www.nonoise.org/quietnet/cqs/leafblow.htm

Good neighbors keep their noise to themselves. Noise Pollution Control
Clearinghouse. Noise Pollution Control

Noise Pollution Effects: Can Noise Make You Stupid? Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby


Decibel Levels of Common Sounds
www.chchearing.org/noise/common-environmental-noise-levels


www.change.org/p/huntington-town-council-restrict-gas-leaf-blowers-glbs-by-commercial-landscapers-during-the-summer-months

www.change.org/p/city-council-of-belmont-ca-ban-leaf-blowers

www.change.org/p/citizens-of-corvallis-corvallis-city-council-for-a-cleaner-and-quieter-corvallis-ban-the-use-of-leaf-blowers

www.change.org/p/ban-leaf-blowers-glendale-california