Spring is a great time of the year. The birds are busy raising their latest brood of chicks, the sleeping shrubs and trees are coming to life and flowers are getting read to show their finery. Along with this wonderful season comes two things many allergy sufferers have come to worry about; pollen and leaf blowers.

Leaf blowers? What could possibly be wrong with getting rid of

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all those dead leaves through which the young shoots must struggle? Oh, it’s not the struggle that should concern us. For millennia, I’m sure, the shrubbery and flowers have done just fine on their own. When we bring technology, not muscle power, into it, we are left with a dirty deal; leaf blowers.

What do these contraptions do besides polluting the air with their fumes? For one, they lift up all the garbage, bacteria and dust that’s lying under the bushes or in the gutter and send it into the air in tiny droplets and bits of grime. This material is then either deposited on your clothing or car or inhaled through your nose into your precious nasal cavities and, possibly, down your throat and into your lungs.

Do you usually leave the house with a face mask/dust mask on your face or in your pocket? I suspect you don’t and therein lies the

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problem. Persons, primarily landscaping companies’ employees, go about their jobs with diligence, disregarding anyone who may venture into their work zone. Stand back and wait for the dust cloud they create to disappear and they will just go ahead and create yet another one which may come whirling in your direction. Here, the wind is decidedly not your friend.

Today, just such a thing happened. I watched from half-a-block away as a four-man crew used backpack blowers and fan types to create a dust cloud as wide as the street and at least 12 feet or more high. They turned, looked at me and continued to do their dirty work. I waited again for this cloud to waft away. When it did I confronted the alleged supervisor of the crew. What company did he work for? No answer. Did he intend to reimburse me for the $24 I just spent for the pizza in my cart? “No.”

The men stood around watching our interaction which provided no satisfaction to me. After I told him my position regarding the health hazard he and his crew created, I sent an email to the board of directors of our complex complete with a still photo and a short movie of the cloud creation. Let’s see what happens now.

Yes, my trusty cell caught the action beautifully and, when blown up, the cloud is engulfing one of the workers (maskless) while another worker blows dirt off cars (wearing a mask).

Is it a good use of energy to use leaf blowers or should we return to the good old broom and shovel of old? I think the shovel is best and it certainly doesn’t present the health hazard. Think about it next time you see a leaf blowing crew in action. Is that what you want you, your kids and your neighbors inhaling?

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