Report: Gas-Powered Lawn Tools Produce Emissions Comparable to Cars

A Maryland study recommends switching to electric tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the state’s climate goals.

1 minute read

November 27, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Low shot of worker in orange pants using leaf blower on yellow leaves.

Parilov / Adobe Stock

A report from the Maryland PIRG Foundation reveals that gas-powered lawn tools such as leaf blowers emit roughly the same level of “fine particulate” air pollution as 6.4 million gas-powered cars in the state.

As Josh Kurtz explains in Maryland Matters, the report, titled “Lawn Care Goes Electric: Why It’s Time to Switch to a New Generation of Clean, Quiet Electric Lawn Equipment,” estimates emissions on a county-by-county basis and calculates the benefit of removing gas-powered equipment.

“The report recommends that local and state governments use electric equipment on public property and provide financial incentives to encourage the widespread adoption of electric lawn equipment by residents. It further suggests that cities and states consider restrictions on the sale and use of the most-polluting fossil fuel-powered equipment.” One Maryland county, Montgomery County, is already moving to phase out gas-powered leaf blowers and vacuums and will prohibit their sales in the county starting on July 1, 2024, with a full ban taking effect a year later. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023 in Maryland Matters

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