We mostly think the carbon emissions and the wastes from industries as the source of air pollution. But, most of our daily needs items are a cause of air pollution as they release many harmful chemicals into the air, belonging to a class of compounds called volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
VOCs are the vapors or gases released from certain solids or gases, mainly the derivatives of petroleum and other fossil products. It has been found out that the concentration of VOCs in indoor air is much higher than that in outdoor air. These compounds easily evaporate and so, they remain suspended in the air, react with other gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide etc forming many lung irritating fine particulates in air. They also form ozone. The same ozone layer of stratosphere which protects us from UV rays becomes poisonous at ground level as it reacts with other particulates and gives rise to harmful chemical smog. Thus, in all these ways VOCs come out to be deadly.
VOC’s major sources are petroleum and other fossil products but, they are also released by a wide number of daily household products, briefly discussed as follows:
The chemical vapors of formaldehyde (mutagen and carcinogen), benzene (which is carcinogen) and trichloroethylene are released by household cleaners and paints.
The sweet smelling perfumes and deodorants also emit many lung irritating particulates.
The newly formed furnitures and cabinet.
Combustion of fuel, woods and coals produce major of VOCs.
Some other sources are shampoo, hairspray, air fresheners, cleaning sprays, laundry detergent, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer.
So, want a clean indoor air?? Say Yes to Plants!!! Here’s how they help!!!
Plants purify the indoor air through a mechanism called phytoremediation, in which the VOC’s are utilized by the plant tissues and roots and transported to the microorganisms present in the soil and in association with plant roots to be metabolized.
Plants also remove harmful ozone from the ground air.
These plants have greater ability to use the sunlight for their metabolism as they belong to the tropical rainforest, where they have to compete for the sunlight among the forest canopy.
Although all the plants have ability of air purification but the few plants, mostly herbs very effective in purification of indoor air are listed below with their scientific names:
Dwarf banana- Musa cavendishii.
Chrysanthemum- Chrysantheium morifolium
Bamboo palm- Chamaedorea seifrizii.
Weeping fig- Ficus benjamina.
English ivy- Hedera helix.
Peace lily- Spathiphyllum.
Species of philodendron- Philodendron sp.
Aloe vera- Aloe barbadensis.
The research of NASA scientists suggested that about 15-18 medium size plants for a house of 1800 to 2000 square ft is efficient for removing indoor air pollutants. Moreover, if the lower leaves of plants are removed, making the soil more exposed to air improve the purification process.
Besides these herbs, we can also opt for the herbal environment friendly and chemicals free products for daily needs. Now a days herbal products are much preferred.
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