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The air filtering device every home needs
The quality of the air we breathe is clearly important, for everyone, but particularly when lung function is compromised, in one way or another and when lungs, are still developing.
Now most of us, worry more about outdoor air pollution, probably because this is the pollution, you can see.
And it’s the kind of air pollution that makes headlines.
But, if truth be told, the quality of outdoor air, is more often than not, superior to that of indoor air. And WE modern humans, frequently spend 90 % of our time, INDOORS.
So what’s polluting the air indoors ?
For starters YOU.
You breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
If there’s just one or two humans, in a room, it’s not a big deal, but if there are 25 humans, in a relatively confined area………….that carbon dioxide, adds up.
Then there’s your personal care products.
These may / may not be disguising, the volatile organic compounds, you’re emitting, with alternative volatile organic compounds.
And you’re not the only thing in the room, emitting volatile organic compounds. Fido is doing it. So is the sofa, the carpet, the paint on the walls….you get the picture.
The air you’re breathing inside, is a chemical soup.
OMG ! So what can you do, to improve the quality of the air you’re breathing, inside the house.
Indoor air quality 101
Well, the obvious thing is, to let in some fresh air in, every now and again. And to be mindful of sources of off-gassing, choosing low VOC emitting materials, companions and consumer products, whenever possible.
But sometimes, this just isn’t possible.
Is there anything else ?
Air pollution extraction devices
This was on the minds of researchers from Portugal, they were particularly concerned with the air quality in local schools, since kids are more sensitive to air quality, than adults.
They headed for the field…………………looking for possible answers.
On their list of pollutant extracting “devices”, was a pot plant or SIX.
They tested out the effectiveness of plants in a working class room, in a school located in the city of Aveiro, in Portugal. The school they chose, was a pretty average public school, built in the 1960s and located on busy road, with a parking lot in front and surrounded by commercial and residential buildings.
They set up equipment, to keep tabs on the air quality, both inside and outside, one of the classrooms. The classroom they chose was 52.5 m2 and was used every week day, by 25 kids, 1 teacher, and NO plants.
Monitoring the air quality
For the first three weeks of the study, it was just the kids and the air quality monitoring equipment.
And there was lots of it, the team continuously monitored :
- the temperature
- carbon dioxide levels
- volatile organic compound levels
- carbonyls, such as formaldehyde
- particulate matter, which was 10 um in size
At the end of three weeks, 6 plants, joined the kids, in the classroom. To ensure the plants had access to the circulating air, the team, suspended them from the ceiling, so that they were approx. 30 cm off the floor.
NOTE : The team opted to use 6 plants, because the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), recommends, one plant per 9.29 m2.
The plants chosen to go to school, belonged to three species
- Dracaena deremensis (Striped dracaena or Janet Craig),
- Dracaena marginata (Red-edge Dracaena, Madagascar dragon tree or Marginata) and
- Spathiphyllum (Mauna loa or Peace lily)
Plants in the classroom
The plants learned their ABCs, along with the kids, hopefully they enjoyed the lessons.
But, the biggest lesson from this study………….
Indoor potted plants, can and do clean up the air.
In every air quality parameter tested, there was an improvement…..
The drop in carbon dioxide, is not unexpected, and probably much appreciated, by both brain cells and the teacher. Numerous studies, suggest high carbon dioxides levels, can lead to fuzzy thinking.
Maybe what is a little unexpected, is the drop in some of the other nasties, associated with indoor air.
That drop in VOCs, amounts to a 73 % decrease.
Time to install an air filter or two
This study demonstrates, common houseplants have the ability to remove many pollutants from the air.
Plants are relatively cheap, low maintenance and they look good.
Isn’t it time you installed, one or two of these air filters, in the rooms you hang out in ?
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