Your Leaf Blower Has Dirtier Emissions Than Your Pick-Up

The unexpected findings of a new study

The test results of the comparative emissions from two leaf blower models, a Fiat 500, and a Ford Raptor might make you want to make you start using a rake: Edmunds's found the Ford pick-up to be cleaner than the Cinquecento and both vehicles to be cleaner than the motorized tools.

The site found Ryobi 4-stroke leaf blower emitted close to seven times more oxides of nitrogen and 13.5 more carbon monoxide than the two-and-a-half ton 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The Echo 2-stroke leaf blower created 23 times the carbon monoxide and close to 300 times more non-methane hydrocarbons than the pick-up.

"The hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a Raptor," said Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor at "As ridiculous as it may sound, it is more 'green' to ditch your yard equipment and find a way to blow leaves using a Raptor."

The high-performance heavy-duty vehicle was also cleaner than the Fiat 500 in terms of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen emitted, though the subcompact bested it in terms of carbon monoxide.

Most interestingly, the Raptor may actually reduce the amount of hydrocarbons in the air through its fuel filtering process, as the general air measured 2.821 parts per million of total hydrocarbons while the emissions coming out of the Raptor's tailpipee were 2.639 ppm.

So it might be best to scatter those last remaining autumn leaves with the gusts generated from your pick-up as opposed to the dirty nozzle of your Ryobi.

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