What Role Do Indoor Plants Play in Improving Air Quality?

Phytoremediation by indoor plants improves air quality. Phytoremediation is when plants absorb, break down, or neutralize air and soil pollutants.

Breakdown of Formaldehyde: Plywood, particleboard, and certain household items contain this indoor pollutant. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) and Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) eliminate formaldehyde from indoor air.

Reducing Benzene and Xylene: Smoking and certain household goods release these indoor pollutants.

Plants produce oxygen from carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Indoor plants release oxygen, which is less important than pollutant removal, but it still improves the indoor air.

The soil where indoor plants are potted can include microorganisms that break down contaminants. Plant roots release exudates that sustain these microbes, forming a symbiotic connection that improves air purification.

Indoor plants can enhance air quality, but they cannot replace good ventilation and other pollution-reduction measures.

The type and size of the plant, pollution concentration, and indoor atmosphere also affect how well plants filter air.

To maximize air-purifying potential, plants need regular care, suitable positioning, and indoor-friendly species.

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