Houseplants reduce indoor air pollution • Earth.com

Houseplants reduce indoor air pollution

11-10-2021

Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society describes how everyday houseplants can reduce indoor air pollution.

According to a study led by Vadoud Niri of the State University of New York at Oswego, buildings often contain high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as acetone, benzene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals come from a range of sources like paint, electronics, and cleaning products.

The researchers analyzed VOC removal by a variety of houseplants including jade, spider plant, bromeliad, caribbean tree cactus, and dracaena. Some plants were found to be better than others at absorbing specific compounds.

While all of the plants absorbed acetone, found in nail polish remover, the dracaena plant absorbed the highest amount at 94 percent. When placed indoors, this popular annual is useful in removing benzene and providing mood-enhancing beauty to the home. 

Keep in mind that the gerbera daisy does best in warm temperatures, at 75 degrees or higher. With a leaf color that ranges from green to purple, this plant would be a gorgeous addition indoors or outdoors.

The bromeliad was the most effective plant at absorbing VOCs overall, removing more than 80 percent of the pollutants in just 12 hours.

Video Credit: American Chemical Society 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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