Letter to the Editor, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2018
Go here to view the full letter submitted by Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Regarding Adrienne Bernhard’s “Leaf Blowers Are Loud, Ugly and Dangerous” (op-ed, Oct. 19): Once again, we have someone asking for the removal of a working tool for the working man. Leaf blowers and other outdoor power-equipment products are ubiquitous because they work. They save labor and time when clearing sports fields, parking lots and garages and other large spaces, and the leaf blower is important to the landscaper who is paid by the job in communities with rigorous zoning on leaf pickup and removal. They also save water, helping clean surfaces without having to use potable water from a hose. They help people with physical limitations maintain their own properties, such as my 85-year-old mother who would be quite challenged with a rake. Instead, she uses her small, electric leaf blower to clear her steps and walkway of debris and leaves. Those are the practical realities of the need for this valuable tool.

The author points to an outdated 2011 study to indict all leaf blowers. These products are regulated by the federal government and the state of California, and they are the cleanest and quietest they’ve ever been—75% quieter than those used a decade ago, with emissions reduced by as much as 80%.

She suggests getting rid of “leafy trees and green lawns” altogether. How is that promoting sustainability? Trees and ordinary turfgrass are brilliant at sequestering carbon, producing oxygen, capturing and filtering precious rainfall, collecting dust and particulate matter and reducing heat. Green spaces are not just something pretty to look at.


Kris Kiser
President and CEO
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Alexandria, Va.