After a recent Town Meeting vote in Arlington to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, a petition campaign began to force a city-wide referendum this summer. As neighbors argue over noise and landscape companies claim they will lose thousands of dollars worth of productivity, the dispute is a reminder of the mysterious lack of innovation for the leaf blower itself. In 2000, the California Environmental Protection Agency found that a half-hour of leaf-blower usage produced enough carbon monoxide to equal 440 miles of driving at 30 miles per hour.
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