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News2009November › How to counter harmful air pollutants in your home and office › November 2009

How to counter harmful air pollutants in your home and office

There's a very simple way you can counter dangerous air pollutants in your home or office - and it's so effective, it can remove up to 90 per cent of them, researchers have found

There's a very simple way you can counter dangerous air pollutants in your home or office - and it's so effective, it can remove up to 90 per cent of them, researchers have found.

Putting potted plants around the home or office can eliminate most VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which come from paints, varnishes, adhesives, furnishings, clothing, solvents, building materials, and even tap water. Indoor pollutants kill around 1.6 million people every year, the World Health Organization estimates.

The most effective plants are the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternate), English ivy (Hedera helix), variegated wax plant (Hoya Carnosa), and the Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflons). They eliminated 90 per cent of the VOCs, although researchers from the University of Georgia discovered that almost all of the 28 plants tested were able to absorb many of the pollutants.

(Source: HortScience, 2009; 44: 1377-81).


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