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Houseplants Help Filter Harmful Air Pollution

Posted: September 16, 2009

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While it took 75 minutes for ozone levels to come down in plantless chambers, air in chambers with plants reached the target in just 50 minutes. He speculates the plants take in the ozone through their stomates, which are tiny pores used for gas exchange, and then break it down once inside the plant.

"Future research would look at how many plants you need in an office environment and it would look at more realistic levels of ozone," Decoteau told LiveScience. In addition, some plants might be better than others at zapping ozone.

Plant positives

Here are some other reasons to keep indoor shrubbery around:

  • Plant-filled rooms contain up to 60% fewer airborne molds and bacteria than rooms without plants, studies show.
  • People who work in offices with windows and plants are happier than others, according to a study of 450 office workers in Texas and the Midwest. In fact, 82% of the participants who worked with plants and windows around said they felt "content" or "very happy," compared with 58% in windowless plantless offices who said the same.
  • Plants seem to make people more contemplative and self-reflective, according to one ethnologist.

Decotau's study was detailed in a recent issue of the journal Hort Technology.