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In urban areas people spend more than 90% of their time in closed environments, where air pollution is even higher than outdoors. Houses, offices and shops are poor-ventilated spaces and numerous scientists around the world have confirmed that indoor air can emit contaminants like formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. Ozone and other contaminants find also their way into our buildings.
This can cause serious health problems to mankind: NASA studied for years the effects on air in enclosed spaces and they find that cheapest, greenest solution for cleaning of contaminated indoor air in urban environment is plants. In cities, indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the five environmental risks to public health.
Symptoms of the so-called Sick Building Syndrome are:
. Irritation in the eyes, throat or nose
. Dry and Itchy Skin
. Inability to focus
While the major air pollutants present in our home are:
. Benzene – it comes mainly from detergents and wax
. Formaldehyde –wood pressed products, smoke, carpets and draperies
. Carbon monoxide – appliances and heaters, emissions
. Trichloroethylene – in home undergoing renovations
. Xylene and Toluene – it comes mainly from detergents, household sprays
. Ammonia and volatile Chemicals – aerosol sprays used in the home, perfumes, hair sprays, glues, solvents, fabric softeners
Certain common houseplants may provide a natural way of removing toxic agents from the air. NASA suggested at least 1 plant each 100 square feet (or 9 square meters) is sufficient to clean your house/office air.
As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, as all plants do, the air –filtering plants can help to eliminate significant amounts of air particulates. Microorganisms associated with the plants are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.
There are many plants that can make home look beautiful, fresh and healthy by providing natural air filters and increasing oxygen levels. In the presence of plants, CO2 levels were reduced by about 10% in offices and by about 25% in naturally ventilated buildings.
Here below some of the houseplants that work as air purifier:
But be aware: aloe is toxic to dogs and cats
Picture from WereWild
Peace lily or Spathiphyllum
Picture from Urban Jungle
This article in an extract of:
*International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development ( IJTSRD), “ Cleanest, Greenest Solution for Maintaining Indoor Air Quality in urban Areas: Plants” – Volume 2, Issue 2, Jen- Feb 2018, www.ijtsrd.com