Risk from Leaf Blowers?
Q. One of my neighbors is always outside each Fall blowing off his large backyard patio, which is upwind from our yard where my seven-year-old son plays. My son has recently been diagnosed as having asthma, and I think he may have allergies as well. I do try to bring him inside when this neighbor uses his leaf blower. Is there any evidence that leaf blowers can cause worsening allergy and asthma symptoms?
A. When people are mowing lawns, they stir up a fair amount of mold spores. One would imagine this applies to leaf blowers as well. Also, leaf blowers probably put into the air little fragments of leaves, and other dust which could be irritating, and could aggravate asthma with exposure. Additionally, there are the exhaust fumes from gas-powered blowers. All in all, it's probably a good idea to avoid being in the path of the leaf spray. Such momentary exposures would not likely lead to increased allergies, by themselves.