THREE WAYS TO THINK ABOUT IT . . .
The "blower" is here to stay ... technology will solve today's problems
The tool is so efficient that it's here to stay many might argue. And if there are problems with noise today, technology has solved it by making them quieter or replacing them with electric power. So why get all tied up in 'regulations?'
The rear view mirror may tell us something
The rake and broom are not obsolete. They remain practical devices. When it comes to dust, debris, grass, and leaves ... it is not unequivocably established that a worker carrying a "blower" is more efficient in time, direct cost (equipment and fuel), and external costs (pollution, noise) compared to a manual worker. Some argue that the time-efficiency is not much different between "blower" and rake and broom especially in gardens.
It's the tip of the iceberg of a larger problem
Technology might be the answer but "blowers" will still be high energy users - at the very same time that we are reminded of the nation's "addiction to oil." We are reminded, too, that oil will only get more scarce as demand escalates in China and India. So while that small "blower' may look like the best of labor and cost saving tools to a landscape contractor or gardener or maintenance crew, it comes at a high price in terms of fuel and pollution. This is one 'oil' thirsty tool we can easily tame - one community at a time. It doesn't need a Presidential or Congressional act.