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Journal Article

Foliage Plants for Removing Indoor Air Pollutants from Energy-Efficient Homes

B. C. Wolverton, Rebecca C. McDonald and E. A. Watkins, Jr.
Economic Botany
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1984), pp. 224-228
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4254614
Page Count: 5
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Foliage Plants for Removing Indoor Air Pollutants from Energy-Efficient Homes
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Abstract

A sealed, Plexiglas chamber with temperature and humidity control and illuminated externally with wide spectrum grow lights was used to evaluate the ability of golden pothos (Scindapsus aureus), nephthytis (Syngonium podophyllum), and spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum var. vittatum) to effect the removal of formaldehyde from contaminated air at initial concentrations of 15-37 ppm. Under the conditions of this study, the spider plant proved most efficient by sorbing and/or effecting the removal of up to 2.27 μg formaldehyde per cm2 leaf surface area in 6 h of exposure. The immediate application of this new botanical air-purification system should be in energy-efficient homes that have a high risk of this organic concentrating in the air, due to outgassing of urea-formaldehyde foam insulation, particleboard, fabrics and various other synthetic materials.

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