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Bonnie Sager, OD. Co-founder, Huntington CALM; NY Chapter Head, Quiet Communities

The recent gas leaf blower resolution passed by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) is a giant step. It asks governments and manufacturers to take steps to reduce toxic emissions and harmful noise levels from gas leaf blowers (GLBs) and promote non-polluting alternatives. Gas leaf blowers generate deafening noisy and toxic pollution. They are a threat to our health and our environment. This resolution has cracked open doors at our state level to take action. If legislation is passed statewide, it could eliminate the arduous process of dealing with individual local governments to restrict/ban GLBs.

Share the resolution with your state medical society.  Encourage them to pass a similar resolution. The more medical societies that endorse this issue, the greater the likelihood that the American Medical Association will support it. If that transpires, we will have a major national medical organization advocating for us. It would really kick things up a few notches.

Share the resolution with ecologically friendly state senators and assembly members.  Put it on their radar.  Point out how much it costs their state to treat asthma, allergies, hearing loss, heart disease, stroke, cancer and all of the other medical conditions associated with GLB production of ground level ozone, particulate matter and noise.

Share the resolution with your school Superintendent and tell them how the Sonoma Unified School District banned the use of GLBs on school grounds.

Here on Long Island, we intend to build a grassroots effort by visiting schools and educating children about how unhealthy GLBs are, not only for children but for Mom, Dad, and Rover.  We will hand out small cards filled with facts about GLBs they can bring home and show their parents.

We will speak about the zero emission and quiet technology available today and how AGZA-certified Green Zones® (emissions-free, quiet maintenance areas) can make their parks, schools, and neighborhoods clean, healthy, and eco-friendly. Tell people about how South Pasadena, CA created a Green Zone in its 10-acre Garfield Park, and how it is expanding on this success to make the entire city a Green Zone.

With these combined efforts, we stand a much better chance of eliminating gas leaf blowers in our communities.  Then we can all breathe easier!

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