Ban the Blowers!
Not a day goes by that a landscaper isn't blowing dirt, leaves and debris out into the street, into the air, in my car windows and into our lungs. I find it interesting that allergies and asthmatic conditions are on the rise, right along with the increased use of blowers as a standard part of lawn maintenance. It used to be the good ole' rake which made very little noise and didn't really kick up much into the air except in the vicinity of the person doing it. But now clouds of pathogens, mold, dirt, allergens and even residue from pesticides are being made airborne for not just the immediate area, but two to three houses away depending on the wind. Each landscaper seems only concerned about clearing the paying client's yard, and has not issue with leaving the debris in the street. What is this doing to the children playing nearby? Children's bodies are much smaller which means that airborne pathogens will affect them more intensely than in an adult. In fact, when I've asked prospective landscapers to refrain from using any blowers, they've essentially refused or insisted on charging triple the fee.
Are we really going to poison ourselves simply to save money and time? Why can't lawn maintenance companies find less polluting ways to clean our yards? Leaf and yard debris is one of the most common sources of black mold, especially if the debris is left over from the winter. The snow-melt moisture has allowed pathogens and black mold to infiltrate piles of leaves and debris that become airborne when blowers send the leaves scurrying from their hiding place. Raking does much less stirring, but still gets the job done.
I encourage you to get into the habit of raking. Ask your lawn maintenance people to rake, get your neighborhood to ban blowers, start to take breathing seriously.