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Indoor Plants and Atmospheric Pollutants

Indoor Plants and Atmospheric Pollutants

Atmospheric Pollutants and Indoor Plants
Indoor Plants and Atmospheric Pollutants

Photosynthetic exchanges:

carbon dioxide absorption and release of oxygen Chlorophyll plants since 3.5 billion years enrich our oxygen atmosphere (O2). Thanks to the chlorophyll that works as a true solar collector, the plant converts light energy into chemical energy: it is photosynthesis. This first series of reactions take place in the leaves and in daylight. It consumes water and releases into the atmosphere the oxygen.

Then the plant uses the manufactured energy to convert carbon dioxide Atmospheric Pollutants organic molecules who will enter into his constitution. This second series of reactions do not require light. The green plants enrich so our air in vital oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide that can be toxic in high concentrations (from 7%).

Plants can be installed in every room including bedrooms. Indeed, despite an idea received, the release of carbon dioxide at night by houseplants is negligible compared to an amount of oxygen released into the day. Young plants, growing, have photosynthesis particularly

Respiratory exchanges:

oxygen absorption and rejection of carbon dioxide Like all living things, plants breathe. Their respiratory gas exchanges are identical to ours: they absorb dioxygen and reject carbon dioxide.
These exchanges take place at the level of all the cells of the plant, from the root tips at the end of leaves every moment of the day and of the night. The day, exchanges respiratory gases are largely masked or compensated by those inverses of photosynthesis.

Other Gas Exchange:

for example, pollutant absorption and water vapor release (Evapotranspiration) The researchers demonstrated the sanitizing function of several plants against dissolved pollutants in the air. This is not a simple matter absorption but of a real treatment done by almost all plants. The mechanisms of absorption, capture, and processing of pollutants are very complex and the complete understanding of these processes require research complementary.

We know that air pollutants are absorbed by the leaves. They penetrate either directly through of the epidermis, (certain pollutants volatiles can be solubilized in the cuticle and gain the cells of the epidermis foliar), either at the level of stomates (true pores whose opening is controlled by the state watery of the plant). A plant well fed with water at the root level will pump this water while releasing into the Atmospheric Pollutantsa large amount of water vapor. This phenomenon of evapotranspiration ensures a continuous water flow in the plant. While the stomata are open, releasing water into the atmosphere, toxic substances from the air can be absorbed. Once in the plant, pollutants solubilize.

They can be either metabolized, are stored by the cells of the plant, either excreted at the root level. In soil, micro-organisms (fungi, bacteria) living in symbiosis in or in contact with roots, convert pollutants inorganic or mineral products which then serve to nourish the plant.

If most plants are beneficial to our Atmospheric Pollutants by enriching it in oxygen and by moistening it, each plant has its own specificities regarding the various pollutants. (However, be careful too much humidification which would favor the development of certain micro-organisms). We thus choose to place certain varieties at specific locations according to the type of pollution that there may be in a room. Their depolluting power is directly proportional to their activity (growth) and their size (foliage area and density).

Depolluting Plants Researchers (Atmospheric Pollutants)

Studies and research on depolluting plants Researchers continue their work to know the part of the plant that would be more effective on pollutants: root system leaves … The phenomena are complex and new research will help to know more.

Nevertheless, these same researchers think it’s the ENSEMBLE of the plant in the ground (so well the system root, leaves, and microorganisms present in the substrate) which is effective. All this remains to be refined, to know the potential of these plants. Finally, even if the plants can help us in the quest for a purification of our atmosphere ambient, it is important not to forget to have simple gestures to improve its atmosphere (ventilate, avoid humidity, use the less possible cleaning products, monitor your heaters …) and choose all materials at home, with more care.

What are the Sources of Pollution of our Atmosphere? It suits

It would be difficult to name here all the pollution sources of our atmosphere as this would constitute an impressive catalog. It is also difficult to provide a complete list of products in which are these pollutants … Our list cannot be exhaustive, but it is important, however, to talk about it.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) invisible but very important

Ammonia (nitrogen compound with a pungent odor): in degreasing products for soils (sometimes added to bleach in degreasers).

Benzene (aromatic and colorless hydrocarbon): in paints, detergents, fuels, cigarette smoke, furniture, plastics …

Glycol ethers (harmful industrial solvents): in lacquers, soaps, and cosmetics, paints, products for treating wood …

Formaldehyde (organic compound, called formaldehyde if dissolved in water): in the wool glass, some insulation foams, carpet glues, types of paints …

Solvents (a generic term that includes benzene, toluene …): in paintings, the varnishes, the resin, the glue and which served to liquefy the products …

Styrene (flammable chemical compound): in plastics, insulation, fuel, cigarette smoke …

Toluene (aromatic hydrocarbon used as a synthetic product or solvent): in paints, varnishes, inks, rugs, carpets …

Trichloroethylene (chlorinated chemical compound): in varnishes, glues, degreasers for metals, foams, upholstery (as often used in dry cleaning).

Xylene (insecticides)

Other Pollutants

Mold produced by microscopic fungi on wet surfaces (wood, fabrics, food products …): it is the spores that are released from these mushrooms that are toxic or allergenic.

Carbon monoxide (CO) (colorless, odorless and deadly gas): emitted by stoves, water heater, defective heating systems, exhaust, smoke from cigarette…

Phthalates (organic additives): used as plasticizers in PVC. Meet up so in flooring, toys … Artificial mineral fibers are used in the manufacture of insulating wools (glass wool, rock) …


To summarize, and for each piece from the house you will be able to find hereinafter a choice of plants
(non-exhaustive) to install and who can depend on the place you have, to your liking staff, your means … You can call in specialists Indoor Plants (Garden Centers for example), which will help you a choice also, depending on the brightness or temperature of the room.


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