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Montreal suburb to regulate the use of leaf blowers

The use of electric and gas-powered leaf blowers in Beaconsfield, Que., will be restricted next year after new regulations were passed by city council.
The use of electric and gas-powered leaf blowers in Beaconsfield, Que., will be restricted next year after city council passes new regulations.

Starting next year, the City of Beaconsfield, Que., will implement new regulations regarding the use of electric and gas-powered leaf blowers.

Under the new regulation, leaf blowers can be used between October 1 and May 31. By steering their usage, city council looks to minimize the most important health risks and pollution problems associated with the use of these tools, while still permitting them to be used for spring cleaning and leaf pick-up in the fall.

Both types of leaf blowers (electric and gas-powered) generate decibel levels well above the limit (55 decibels) recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Département de santé publique de Montréal (DSP). Electric leaf blowers generate an average of 80 decibels while gas-powered leaf blowers produce up to 115 decibels. The noise levels vary between 62 to 75 decibels at a distance of 15 m (49 feet) from a leaf blower in use. Further, they emit air at a velocity varying between 240 to 450 km/h, which propel particles up to 10 times finer than the limit of 2.5 micrometres established by the WHO.

The guidelines for operating leaf blowers are initiated within the context of the wide range of actions undertaken by the city in recent years to preserve public health and help achieve the environmental targets determined by the governments of Canada and Québec.

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