EMISSIONS---"Do they hurt you?"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Think Green, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    It is no secret that during the fall leaf season it is practical to blow leaves and other debris with the winds to our backs. It is even practical to blow off anything with the winds to our backs. The involvement of line trimmers and hedge trimmers aren't such a problem when the winds are involved unless they are in close proximity to the face.
    What I would like to ask is---"How many pros experience light headed-ness, shortness of breath, and even headaches after prolonged use of blowers, trimmers and line trimmers"? I can recall the owner's manuals do require a mask while operating their machines. Is this a practical method of use for the pro? How many of you wear a mask during the season in heat climates? A couple of years ago, we sold our last Toro Recycler 2 2cycle push mower because of the excessive smoke that made us sick to push the mower during the hot muggy days in the summer. As we use the 2-cycle equipment; usually with the winds to our backs, the emissions are constantly flowing around our torso or around our necks to the facial area. The 2-cycle oils are sold as smokeless............most are but more aren't! Either way, the emissions are there whether they are seen or not, and do they cause you problems during the leaf season because of more prolonged use than usual??
  2. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Bet it causes more hurt than harm. Likely not huge. But how could it be more good than bad.

    Your question is very much like what I asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture, about pesticides. I mentioned that even with safety gear and clothes, some slight residual of several chemicals must get in our system. So my main question was how that very small residue of chemicals interacted together in our system. They said they had no data.

    And that's one of the reasons I quit applying pesticides and let my consultants and applicators lapse after a while.

    With exhaust, pretty hard to get away from entirely. But that oil film you see on wet pavement from exhaust, must be slightly gathering in lungs. This is one reason why I ask people who panic about filtering water, why it is they also walk outside without a respirator. I don't have fear of breathing outside, or filter water myself, but I think that since air looks clear, too few people even begin to think and make decisons about how to moderate their activities.
  3. Kutz Lawns

    Kutz Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    My solution is to take a smoke break in between mowing, trimming & blowing! :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I'm not so sure of how much the emissions hurt you but you are definately inhaling exhaust gasses. I read a study one time on this issue and carbon monoxide levels were elevated and took a while to return to normal after the user was done using the equipment.
  5. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Like Richard said, carbon monoxide levels could be elevated in your body. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can cause all the symptoms you have described, light-headedness, headache, SOB. Carbon Monoxide displaces the oxygen in your body, thus you will retain less oxygen and more carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide could be deadly in a enclosed space, but you are in an open environment and still recieving some fresh air. When your not using the equipment, your body will eventually expell that carbon monoxide in your system, so the long term effect of the carbon monoxide will be very little after it has been "blown out" of your system.
  6. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    I also am not a big fan of emissions in my face all day long :nono:

    I also got a new 21" toro w 4 stroke honda a few years ago for the same reasons mentioned (smokey and the bandit) - and switched to 4 stroke trimmmers. Helps a lot.

    I even got the 36V black and decker string trimmer this year for zero emission trimming! (It works pretty good for weekly stuff- I might get a few more batteries- but I still need gas sometimes--but the technology is almost there!!!)

    The best thing I have found for dealing with emissions is moldex n2400 dust masks with a thin layer of carbon in them. It totally gets rid of the smell from backpacks, gas fumes, dust, etc. They aren't cheap, but no black boogers! Try them- you will like them.

    I hope one day to have all electric mowers, trimmers and blowers. That would be sweet- save my lungs, my hearing, and my environment. Then do it all solar. Oh yeeeeeeah.:dancing:

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i never feel any diffrently after using equipment
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Thanks for all the replies!
    I know that my topic was a bit vague and seemed like a personal question, however it seems that with all of these new machines and the strict mandates placed on the emission controls, that we as users would not have to breath as much toxins as "they" would lead us to believe. I don't feel that age has anything to do with our bodily reactions to the emissions of todays equipment and their release into the atmosphere. I will tell that from first hand experience that during the summer; with all the humidity we face, the emissions are unbearable at most. For the most part, it isn't a constant perile to endure as it is during the times that we use our shrubbery trimmers. Since we use the dual sided models, the upswing is where the muffler is and after an hour on the machines, we have to sit down and take a 15 minute break---No, not to smoke a cigarette, but to clear out our head and lungs.. During the fall months, constant use of the backpack blower is another breath taker as it is not rocket science to blow with the wind to our backs. I have spent time testing blends of oil mix with fuels to eliminate the excess smokes that are emitted from the units. The oils say smokeless on the containers but we all know that is labeled for the consumer to feel at ease and to appease the EPA-PC&E. I guess we take the chance of self poisoning while using the equipment in our business, but can anyone ellaborate on where these studies are conducted and where are the findings. I am not a lobbyist for any group but my own existance. Working out in the open should, in fact, be enough to keep toxins from harming the user. I can see the relevance of switching from 2 cycle to 4 cycle, but the emissions are still there. They can either be exhaust filled with carbon or they can be filled with unspent oil carbon. The funny end to my plight is that my 7 year old daughter told me an hour ago that the equipment was intended to be used in moderation and not for prolonged periods of time.....................like you do dad!(You know--it was said in kid talk--very simple) I really envy such a youthfull response from the modest and honest of minds. Simplicity is a virtue!!!!!
    I was curious how everyone on this panel that does larger shrubbery jobs, how they handle to exhaust from their trimmers and blowers. For those of us that use the 2 cycle equipment for at least an hour or two and more at a time on the large cleanups and trimming jobs. I am the type to not put a machine down untill the work intended is finished. At the end of the day, my head hurts, my nose is runny(not from the cold!) and my vision is impaired.---No, I apply chemicals, so I am not snorting or huffing them!! LOL!!
    Thanks for the idea, especially the no black booger response. I am still squirming in my chair with laughter.
    I think that my intent with this thread is to draw attention to the public of just how wrong the EPA and all of their affilliates are. These legislations are a mockery to the industry. They may have good intentions but for the most part, they are not worth the ink and paper that it is printed with and on.
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Are you responding about your trimmers and blowers or are you responding about your other larger equipment. I don't have any problems from the larger mowers etc, it is the small equipment that a person holds in their frontal area for an hour or so?

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