Communities across the country are banning the tradition of burning autumn leaves – and for good reason. That pile of burning leaves could trigger a serious asthma attack.
Even small fires release a large amount of air pollution that can aggravate respiratory problems. These toxic fumes can aggravate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, corrode metal siding and paint, and release dioxin that causes cancer. A study from the American Lung Association found that a pound of burning leaves produces significantly more air pollution than a pound of coal burned in a plant. Backyard air pollution is also at breathing level, rather than high up in the air.
In this case, the eco-friendly solution is also the easiest: Forget raking! Simply leave the leaves on the ground and run over them with a lawnmower. The mulched leaves will supply nutrients to your lawn. You could also start a compost pile with raked leaves.
If you have asthma, see Dealing with Asthma to learn how to eliminate common indoor asthma triggers.