We Can Do It - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1559886

We Can Do It

Why do we want carcinogenic and toxic equipment in our neighborhoods? In 30 minutes gas-driven leaf blowers put more hydrocarbons into the air than an F-150 pickup truck driven 3,887 miles.

What do the following 25 communities have in common?: Aspen, Beverly Hills, Boulder, Bronxville, Cambridge, Evanston, Greenwich, Honolulu, Houston, Indian Wells, Key West, Los Angelos, Malibu, Menlo Park, Oyster Bay, Palm Beach, Princeton, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Scarsdale, Scottsdale, Seattle, Southampton Town, Tampa and Westchester County.

Answer: These are the wealthiest, most attractive and expensive towns in the country.

Note that 24 of these 25 communities have banned gas-driven leaf blowers. Can you guess which one has not?

In addition to the toxicity, which is especially harmful to the lungs of your children, more than a dozen studies conducted around the world concluded that a quiet setting encourages maximal brain function.

To quote a book by Michael Finkel: “The chief problem with environmental noise that one can’t control is that it is impossible to ignore. The human body is designed to react to it. Sound waves vibrate a very tiny set of bones in the middle ear, the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup … these physical vibrations are converted to electrical signals that are fired directly into the auditory cortex of the brain.”

The cellular damage to the ear is permanent and cannot be reversed. Chronically elevated stress hormones, especially cortisol, can temporarily increase one’s blood pressure. (The word “noise” is derived from the Latin word nausea.)

We have never allowed a gas-driven leaf blower on our property in the 22 years we have lived in Bridgehampton. Our property values have not suffered. We paid $545,000 for our first house and sold it for $2,690,000 … We paid $1,590,000 for our present home. It was recently assessed for $2,250,000.

If the cities listed above (along with many others) can ban gas-driven leaf blowers, why can’t we do the same?

Richard Bruce



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