Role Of Plants in Reduction of Indoor Air Pollution

Urooj Fatima, Green Blogger
Household air pollution refer to the existence of those contaminant or pollutant (indoor/outdoor) that are discharge from household products or different things that are used in daily life. Household Air Pollution categorically divided into outdoor and indoor air pollution. The sources of outdoor air pollution are volcanic eruption, forest fires, usage of fossil fuel, vehicular emission, and release hazardous chemicals from various industries etc. The foremost outdoor pollutant are Carbon monoxide, Nitrogen oxide, Sulfur dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon etc.
The sources of indoor air pollution are mainly household products such as disinfectant, paint, solvent, furniture polish, insecticide and pesticide used in garden and lawn, and cosmetic products, rug cleaner, nail polish, automotive product, wood preservative, through windows outdoor air across in house, and mainly from cooking and burning of wood which produce harmful chemicals that are Carbon monoxide, Sulphur oxide, particulate matter, Volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, Ozone, nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, hydrocarbon, radon, dust etc. If of all of these exceed its safe limit, they may cause cardiac, reproductive, neurological sickness and diseases and sometime they may cause cancer.
We mostly focused outdoor pollution but from different studies it has been reported that indoor pollution 12 time more hazardous and polluted than outdoor pollution. According to WHO, in Pakistan approximately 56,000 people in rural areas and 75, 00 people in urban areas die yearly from Household Air Pollution (HAP). From ambient air pollution, 114,000 people die yearly. In Pakistan, mostly houses are small and poor ventilation system and use of coal and wood for cooking that emit smoke which include carbon monoxide and ting particle that may cause serious respiratory disease and 90% people spend time in house. According to WHO, in overall world about 3.8 billion people die yearly due to Household Air Pollution.
It is important to find out solution to clean and purify the houses. In 1989, scientists belong to NASA conduct a study in sealed container in which different plants are used and in container insert a gases that commonly found in home and from experiment show that polluted gases removed and reached to safe level. Scientist conclude that plant such as peace lily, snake plant, ficus etc. removed the VOCs (formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene). This study published by Bill Wolverton, a part of study. But recently Waring and Cummings study revealed that NASA experiment is not successful in real life, indoor potted plants don’t cut the air pollution significantly. If obtain a fruitful result then require between 10 and 1000 plants per square feet or any air purifier to remove pollution.
Indoor plants don’t cut the air pollution but for outdoor air pollution plants, trees are very helpful in improving the air quality. From Ohio state university, study conducted by different scientists, available in journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that trees near industries and other pollution source might reduce 27% pollution. Scientist claim that plants such as wall flower plant, common ivy plant, lady mantle plant, and little leaf linden plant etc. are natural and cheapest option to mitigate air pollution.
Household air pollution is a serious concerns now-a-days especially in developing countries. Plant don’t cut indoor pollution but improve the outdoor pollution by trees. Plants are cost-effective option to obtain fruitful result. But it need of time to find out solution to indoor air quality, air purifier is costly cost. In some place holistic approach is used like plants and air purifier to improve air quality.
About the Author: Urooj Fatima, student of environment at GCWUS is keen to write the fats and recent researches related to environment, climate and sustainable development.
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