According to a new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham, domestic plants can be beneficial in improving indoor air quality by reducing the levels of pollution that occur in homes.


"The plants we chose were all very different from each other, but they all showed surprisingly similar abilities to remove NO2 from the atmosphere," said the researcher, Dr. Christian Pfrang. "This is very different from the way indoor plants absorb CO2 in our previous work, which depends largely on environmental factors such as night or day, or the water content of the soil".


The researchers experimented with three common domestic plants: a corn plant, a peace lily, and a fern. The plants were separated and exposed to contamination levels similar to those that would be emitted in an office building. The team compared plant activity over time and also estimated how plants could impact spaces of different sizes with poorer ventilation.

Finally, they found that in a smaller and less ventilated space, five domestic plants reduced pollution levels by 20%. In a larger space, the same number of plants produced pollution measurements 3.5% lower.

The researchers explained that this was true regardless of any potential influence, including time of day and soil consistency. When observing spaces of different sizes, the researchers observed similar effects; the biggest difference was in the number of plants that would be needed to improve air quality.

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