Restrict use of petrol-powered blowers, mowers

The writer says noise from grass cutting can be detrimental.
The writer says noise from grass cutting can be detrimental. ST FILE PHOTO

The sound of petrol-powered leaf blowers and mowers can be heard clearly from as high as the eighth storey of a residential building.

With more people working from home these days, such noise affects concentration and adds stress, which is detrimental to mental health.

Already, a survey found that 61 per cent of those working from home reported feeling stressed, compared with 53 per cent of front-liners (More working from home feel stressed than those on Covid-19 front line, Aug 20)

These machines also harm our flora and fauna. For example, the leaf blower pollutes the air, stirs up lots of allergens and dust, and harms plants, micro-organisms and pollinators.

Similarly, the mower harms benign insects such as grasshoppers, and natural predators of mosquitoes such as frogs.

I urge the authorities to consider clean and harmless alternatives such as brooms and rakes for sweeping leaves, and restrict grass-cutting activities to only certain areas outside parks and housing estates.

Jimmy Tan San Tek

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2020, with the headline Restrict use of petrol-powered blowers, mowers. Subscribe