A group of Long Island residents is trying to encourage its town to limit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers for health reasons.

The Huntington group is called CALM or Citizens Appeal for Leafblower Moderation.

It says the emissions from the machines can spark asthma and other respiratory illnesses. It advocates the use of rakes and brooms instead.

CALM says it has gathered 400 signatures on a petition asking that the blowers be restricted during summer months.

According to Newsday, CALM's proposal has the backing of the American Lung Association and other environmental and medical organizations.

But the Nassau Suffolk Landscape Gardeners' Association says the blowers are needed to effectively clear customers' properties. The group, which represents 1,600 industry professionals, says the blowers do not stir up dust.