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   Tip #224 – Plants Clean Pollutants

The World Health Organization has estimated that harmful indoor air pollutants can cause a diverse array of serious illnesses, including asthma, cancer, reproductive and neurological disorders, and may be responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths a year.   University of Georgia (Georgia, USA) researchers have discovered that certain plants have the ability to drastically reduce levels of indoor pollutants. The team tested 28 plant species and five “super ornamentals”—those displaying the highest rates of contaminant removal, a process called phytoremediation. These include the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata), English ivy (Hedera Helix), variegated wax plant (Hoya cornosa), Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and the Purple heart plant (Tradescantia pallida). In that the researchers observed:  “We found unexpectedly high levels of benzenes and many other contaminants that can seriously compromise the health of those exposed,” they urge that “The idea that plants take up volatile compounds isn’t as much of a surprise as the poor air quality we measured inside some of the homes we tested.”

Not only visually pleasing, certain plants effectively remove air-borne contaminants.  Add a few of the species to your home and office, to help detoxify these settings.

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