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Study of absorption of VOCs by commonly used indoor plants.

Wood R A, Orwell R L, Burchett M D, 1999
organic compound
Bibliographic info: 20th AIVC and Indoor Air 99 Conference "Ventilation and indoor air quality in buildings", Edinburgh, Scotland, 9-13 August 1999
Languages: English

This study is part of an investigation of the decontamination capabilities of indoor plants.Three internationally used species, Howea forsteriana Becc. (Kentia Palm), Dracaenaderemensis Eng. Janet Craig, and Spathiphyllum Petite (Peace Lily), were evaluated for theability to reduce or remove benzene and n-hexane from indoor air. Plants tested in bothpotting media and hydroponic conditions removed the individual VOCs at concentrationsequal to 2 and 5 times the maximum occupational exposure levels recommended by theWorksafe Australia Time-weighted average exposure standard (TWA), [1]. The processinitially took from 2-5 days, after which rates increased so that removal was achievedthereafter in 24 hours. This is typical of an enzyme induction response. The plant and pottingmedia create a soil/plant microcosm in which normal soil microflora, possibly triggered bychemical signals from the plant, play a major role in the breakdown of volatile chemicals andhence improve indoor air quality.


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