House plants are more than just odor eaters

September 10, 2012


UGA research shows some plants can remove indoor pollutants

And you thought house plants just collected dust and dropped dead leaves on your freshly cleaned floors.  UGA researchers conducted a study with a Korean university to understand the chemical sequestration abilities of everyday houseplants.  They were surprised at the results.  Horticulture, plant science, and environmental science would all benefit from a good read of this article.  

 Review Questions

1.  What is a VOC?

volatile organic compound

2. What common items found inside a house can emit VOC's? 

carpet, furnishings, plastic, and cleaning products.  Also, drywall, paint, solvents, and adhesives. Water can also contain VOC's

3. What types of illnesses can indoor air pollutants cause?

asthma, cancer, reproductive and neurological disorders

4. How many plants were tested in the study?  What term did the researchers use to describe the 5 best performing house plants tested in the study? Name the five.

28; Super Ornamentals; Purple waffle plant, Asparagus fern, English Ivy, Varigated Wax Plant, and Purple Heart Plant

5. Indoor air pollutants are responsible for approximately how many deaths a year?  Compared to outside air, indoor air pollutants make air how much worse?

1.6 million deaths, 100 times worse