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GARDENING : Indoor Plants Will Improve More Than Just the Scenery

March 09, 1991|EARL ARONSON | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Those who know a lot about the atmosphere say that common indoor plants clean up the polluted air we breathe inside our homes, offices and other buildings.

NASA reports the results of a two-year study that indicate that indoor plants can drastically reduce toxic chemical levels inside buildings with poor ventilation.

Plant leaves, roots and soil bacteria are all important in removing toxins from indoor air, NASA says. Plants take in toxins and process them into "food" through photosynthesis. "Then," according to the report, "they expel oxygen into the air for us to breathe."

The Environmental Protection Agency reported that "indoor air pollution represents a major portion of the public's exposure to air pollution and may pose a serious acute and chronic health risk."

Scientists have labeled the buildup of indoor air pollution as Sick Building Syndrome and report that since most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, many have health problems created or aggravated by the syndrome.

"One way to protect yourself from Sick Building Syndrome is to place several plants in your home or office," the report recommends.

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