© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How Lawn Care Is Causing Extreme Air Pollution in PA | WDIY Local News

Magda Ehlers

A new study finds that leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and weed whackers aren’t just creating a lot of noise in neighborhoods throughout Pennsylvania — they’re also creating significant amounts of air pollution.

According to a report by the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, gas-powered gardening equipment created 965 tons of fine particulates in 2020, which is more pollution than that caused by 10 million cars. PA ranked fourth among all states in these emissions. Montgomery County alone produced more pollution with lawn equipment than the entire state of Delaware combined.

Ellie Kerns, Climate and Clean Energy Associate with PennEnvironment, says that while many people are annoyed by the loud noise caused by these tools, not too many people realize the impact they’re having on the environment.

PennEnvironment explains that the pollutants emitted by these gas-powered tools can cause asthma attacks, reproductive ailments, mental health challenges, cancer, and in some cases even premature death. They also highlighted the use of fossil fuels, which means that there’s emission of carbon dioxide, which has been linked to climate change.

In 2020 alone, more than a million tons of climate and air pollutants were released in Pennsylvania as a result of gas-powered equipment.

The report says that policy changes can be made at state and local levels, including financial incentives and promises by businesses and governments to convert to electric powered equipment.

PennEnvironment emphasized our ability to reduce our air pollution by switching to cleaner and readily available electric tools. They would provide better methods of lawn care, and they wouldn’t require so much pollution – or noise.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
Related Content