Why Traditional Way of Mowing the Lawn Is Bad for You
Under current standards, in an hour a push mower will produce the same HC+NOx as a car driven 257 miles, and the same CO as one car driven 401 miles. To put it another way, assuming a car averages 40 miles per hour, a push mower produces more HC+NOx than six cars and the same CO as 10 cars.
Big deal, you say. I run my lawn mower 20 minutes a week. How much damage could I be doing?
When you cut the grass, you are in close proximity to the fumes emitted by these mowers and are breathing in dangerous gases which are known to be carcinogenic.
Looking at the big picture, we realize mower emissions are only the beginning of what's wrong with American lawn care.
Americans burn more than 600 million gallons of gas a year cutting the grass. Hell, the EPA estimates at least 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled annually just filling lawn mowers.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 86,000 injuries involving lawn mowers required a trip to the emergency room; in 6,400 of these cases the victim died or wound up hospitalized.
The dangers involved in cutting the grass
The lawn is seen by many as a mundane task that is often avoided until the garden has become a wilderness. Not only that new research has shown that cutting the grass could actually be damaging to your health.
Ride-on mowers are also extremely dangerous as hands and feet can get caught in the blades whilst sitting, leading to extreme injury. There have also been several instances of people falling off their mowers, resulting in severe bruises and sprains.
Using manual lawnmowers cuts the risk of toxic chemicals and falls, but can cause other problems. Pushing a lawnmower can add strain to your back as you lean forward, adding 11 pounds of weight to your lower back.
Even electric mowers are not without their risks. Common injuries include electric shocks and trips and accidents relating to the trailing cables of an electric mower or extension lead.
How to combat the dangers of mowing the lawn
There are several ways to maintain your garden without the risk of injury:
- Stretch before cutting the grass and try to maintain good posture whilst mowing the lawn.
- Never pull your lawnmower - only push it.
- Check your lawnmower regularly and think about having it serviced in the spring.
- Turn off the engine when moving the mower or when leaving it unattended.
- Cut the grass more regularly to prevent grass build-up under the mower and to reduce the risk of hidden stones or sticks.
- Consider getting a robotic mower. Robotic lawnmowers cut the grass for you, eliminating the risk of injury as you are nowhere near the mower whilst it is working. Using a robotic mower also allows you to spend your time how you want to, without having to mow the lawn.