How houseplants can reduce indoor air pollution
Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society and features a look at how everyday houseplants can help you cut down on indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution can cause a variety of health issues ranging from allergies, asthma, and dizziness to more chronic inflammation that can lead to more serious conditions. According to a study led by Vadoud Niri, buildings can contain high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such acetone, benzene, and formaldehyde that come from paints, electronics, and cleaning products.
Niri and his team of researchers at the State University of New York at Oswego compared the efficiency of VOC removal in a variety of houseplants: jade, spider plant, bromeliad, caribbean tree cactus, and dracaena. Certain plants performed better than others at absorbing specific compounds. All five plants could remove acetone, found in nail polish remover, but the dracaena plant absorbed the highest amount, a stunning 94% of chemical.
The bromeliad was the most effective plant at absorbing VOCs overall, removing more than 80% of the pollutants in 12 hours.
Niri’s next experiment will be to place VOC-absorbing plants in a nail salon to see how much they can reduce the quantity of acetone that the workers are exposed to.
By Rory Arnold
Source: American Chemical Society