The fumes from cutting the grass with petrol powered mowers accounts for 5% of all the USA’s weekend pollution, according to a new study.
Each lovingly coutured lawn that took an hour to mow averages roughly the same pollution as a four hour drive in a car.
The figures come from the American Society of Landscape Artists, who found out that one professional was running his mower on propane gas, which cut emissions to virtually zero.
Numerous studies have shown that pollution is linked to longevity. It’s ironic to think that taking part in a green activity like gardening could actually shorten your life due to the fumes from mowers and chemical treatments routinely handled by gardeners.
Now, landscape professionals have launched a campaign to make gardening a more sustainable activity. Let’s hope the pioneers live long enough to see their hard work come to fruition.
Meanwhile, a separate study in China has revealed that longevity is up to 5.5 years shorter in some industrial regions due to heavy pollution.
Burning coal is the culprit in most cases – a dirty fuel that emits gases and smoke.
Older Brits will recall the London peasouper fogs that were triggered by coal fires that were finally banished from the capital when smokeless coal was ruled the only fuel that could be burned.
The toxic environment in North China is leading to more cases of strokes, heart disease and cancer.
Life’s a gas
The study, published in by the National Academy of Sciences has knocked 2.5 billion years off the aggregate life expectancy of 500 million men, women and children in the region.
The researchers claim this is the first official Chinese study that tries to measure the human cost of pollution and a massive surge in industrial output that went largely unconstrained by health and safety rules in the 1990s.
Scientists found the level of pollution was 55% higher in the north of China than the south.
The evidence has been clear to see as many cities have been wreathed in fog like clouds of pollution, including the capital Beijing.
Shockingly, the report concluded that in the stricken region, much natural water was unfit to drink; crops in the field were inedible and simply breathing led to health problems.