Air Pollution Advisory
Causes and Solutions
There has been an air pollution advisory issued today in SW Ohio. Very high temperatures, no cloud cover, and light winds are contributing to the conditions.
One the the causes during the summer is the extensive usage of power lawn equipment. Mowers, blowers, and trimmer using a gasoline engine release large amounts of emissions, as well as vehicles on the road.
Lawn mowers have been estimated to produce 5% of U.S air pollution according to the EPA. In 1995 Air pollution emissions started being regulated on mowers. This equipment emits high levels of carbon monoxide, ( a poisonous gas) VOC’s, (Volatile organic compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids), hydrocarbons, (when fuel doesn't get burned - result of incomplete combustion or the evaporation of fuel into the atmosphere).
According to the EPA, traditional gas powered lawn mowers produce as much air pollution as VOC’s, in an hour, as a new car produces going 340 miles.
Spilled fuel is an unforeseen hazard. Yearly, homeowners and commercial landscapers spill 17 million gallons on the ground with residue and fumes escaping into the environment.
So, what can we gardeners do to diminish these risks?
This gas can limits spills and fumes from being let out into the environment. Simple, yes, effective, yes.
Electric and battery powered equipment are more and more available in the marketplace. Where electric power still can cause pollutants to be released into the environment, the fossil fuels are minimized.
Batteries that are rechargeable offer a long term solution to gas powered or electric equipment.
If your mower is on of the older types, and a high polluter, consider replacing it with an electric or battery operated model. Five million gas powered lawn mowers are purchased yearly in the U.S. This option, though more fuel efficient, is going to reduce pollutants in the atmosphere somewhat.
Lawns and landscape maintenance is a high dollar expense for homeowners. Millions of dollars, and countless hours are spent yearly to keep our yards groomed. One household consumes approximately five gallons of gas annually for trimming and mowing, apply an equivalent of seven gallons for fertilizing that yard, will burn up to five gallons for watering, and use another gallon for clean-up. That’s 18 gallons of fuel per household. 120 million U.S. households – we are using 2.2 Billion (Capital B) gallons of fuel just for lawn care.
Truly manual tools, consume a different kind of energy. And the only pollution that spills is the sweat from our brow.
Being aware of the options can reduce air pollution. Being informed of energy- wise options is a great first step in protecting the environment.
Thanks for making wise choices.