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Leaf blowers pose unexpected health hazards, especially for Mexicans, studies show

A recently published study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City indicates that the air and noise pollution from gas leaf blowers (GLBs) seriously impact respiratory health but are also associated with problems such as cancer, heart disease and dementia—and that children, in particular, are highly susceptible to these hazards.

pg8aA separate study shows how extremely tiny particles of metal from small gas engines can be carried directly to the brain via the olfactory nerve, producing the features of autism, attention-deficit disorder, and schizophrenia.

These studies suppose seasonal use of GLBs to blow leaves off paths, not the heavy and frequent use now in vogue throughout Mexico.

The Mount Sinai study points out that GLB combustion engines are of extremely low efficiency; 30 percent of the gas and oil they use is unburned and released directly to the atmosphere. They cite the estimate of the California Air Resources board that operation of a GLB for one hour releases emissions equivalent to driving a car for 15 hours or 1,100 miles.

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