Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Foliage plants for removing indoor air pollutants from energy-efficient homes

My husband Jan found this interesting paper on using foliage plants to remove pollutants from air-tight energy efficient homes that will be useful to many of us homeowners. It is important for the house to not only be eco-friendly and energy efficient, but to also be healthy. Even though our foam SIP walls (EPS sandwiched between 2 OSB boards) won't offgas, the furniture you may have can "leak" formaldehyde and other pollutants. Plants are a beautiful and economical way to cleanse the air of your house.

Here is a snippet from the paper written by B.C. Wolverton, McDonald and Watkins, Jr.:

"Under conditions of this study, the spider plant proved most efficient by sorbing and/or effecting the removal of up to 2.27 microgram formaldehyde per cm2 leaf surface area in 6 hours 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 area-formaldehyde foam insulation, particleboard, fabrics and various other synthetic materials."

You can download the paper here:
http://www.sjodinweb.com/house/foliage_air.pdf

Or go to these links to look at the following studies on plant effects:

http://www.gdrc.org/uem/stat-plants.html

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/houseplants.html

http://www.oxford.net/~steve/sick.htm

1 comment:

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