Study finds houseplants can efficiently clear dangerous toxins from air

A new study has shed light on the powerful air-cleaning capabilities of indoor plants.

It turns out that plants have a remarkable ability to remove cancer-causing gasoline fumes and other harmful pollutants from the air we breathe.

The study, a collaboration between University of Technology Sydney (UTS) bioremediation researcher Associate Professor Fraser Torpy and landscaping company Ambius, found a small green wall stocked with a variety of indoor plant species removed up to 97 per cent of the most toxic compounds found in gasoline fumes within just eight hours.

And the plants seem to adapt to the level of toxins in the air, becoming more effective as concentrations increase.

According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution is a global concern, causing 6.7 million premature deaths annually.

The close proximity of offices and residential spaces to parking garages and nearby roads exposes individuals to harmful gasoline fumes, elevating the risk of lung irritation, headaches, and even long-term health risks such as cancer and asthma.

The study authors say plants are a cost-effective and simple way to boost health and well-being.

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“We know that indoor air quality is often significantly more polluted than outdoor air, which in turn impacts mental and physical health. But the great news is this study has shown that something as simple as having plants indoors can make a huge difference,” Ambius General Manager Johan Hodgson said in a statement.

While previous studies have shown that indoor plants can effectively remove indoor air contaminants, this research is the first to demonstrate how they tackle gasoline vapours.

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