I just started working for a landscaper, well really it's yard work. As a resident alien (from this planet) it has given me more insight into the culture of the American Dream. Aside from that there are numerous hazards in this employ not just to the worker but to the public. The most ridiculous implement is the leaf blower. It's purpose to the landscaper is not just to blow leaves somewhere else, eg the neighbor's yard or the street, but to break up the clumps of cut grass after mowing with a mulching mower and give the newly cut lawn that clean manicured look.
On one job I persuaded my boss to to blow the leaves back under the bush they came from as they serve both as weed mulch and nutrient for the plant, but the following week he raked them out as the customer complained it didn't look tidy. When I said that we shouldn't enable the customer's ignorance, he said I was arrogant. It's true, I accept that flaw in my character, which goes along with being right most of the time.
I first experienced the danger of the blower one day riding my motorcycle with a visored helmet. As I passed one of these industrious landscapers I got a faceful of dust that temporarily blinded me and left my eyes irritated for the rest of the day. I'm sure this is a danger to cyclists as well as pedestrians and is a good reason to ban these blowers from street use or abuse. The blower is another noise polluting, two stroke exhaust polluting machine putting fine particulates including paint chips, road rubber, pesticide, herbicide, other toxins etc into the air for us to breathe all for the sake of the customers' obsessive compulsiveness to impress their neighbors that they are living the American Dream.
Is Seattle really a "green city" or just another procrastinator seeking "Obama green dollars"? These machines have been banned in other cities: http://www.nonoise.org/quietnet/cqs/other.htm. Get with it, Seattle let's really go green and make our environment safer!