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Role Of Plants In Controlling Indoor Air Pollution
Environmental pollution is the physical and biological contamination of the atmosphere such that normal environmental processes are adversely affected. Air pollution is the pollution of the environment by the addition of chemicals, harmful gases, particulate matter etc. which disrupts its natural and chemical composition.
Air pollution comes from natural and man-made sources such as combustion, construction, mining, agriculture, automobiles, industry and warfare. Common gaseous air pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbans (CFCs) and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter or fine dust.
Effects of Air Pollution.
Pollution not only causes physical disabilities but also mental and behavioral disorders in people such as headache, wheezing, asthma, eye irritation, heart problems and so on. Animals and plants are also affected by pollution.
The World Health Organization estimates that each year approximately two million people die prematurely due to air pollution, while many more suffer from respiratory diseases, heart disease, lung diseases and cancer. Fine particles or fine dust from coal or wood fires and unfiltered diesel engines are considered one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution from industry, transportation, home heating, cooking and coal or oil-fired power stations.
Indoor Air Pollution
In addition to outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution is now seriously considered by many health organizations as the biggest risk to human health as most people spend about 90% of their time indoors and in the office. Polluted indoor air quality poses both short-term (eye irritation, headaches, nausea, allergic reactions, asthma) and long-term (chronic bronchitis, heart disease, lung cancer, liver and kidney damage) health.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term that refers to the air quality in and around buildings as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. More than three billion people around the world continue to depend on solid fuels, including biomass fuels (wood, dung, agricultural residues) and coal, for energy. Cooking and heating with solid fuels in open fires or traditional stoves cause high levels of indoor air pollution. Indoor smoke contains a range of health pollutants, such as fine particles and carbon monoxide.
Indoor air pollution is prevalent at both urban and rural levels. Indoor Air Pollution in the City can be experienced in densely ventilated buildings such as Apartments, Auditoriums, theatres, hospitals, schools, colleges etc. smoking habit etc. Rural Indoor Air Pollution is mainly due to the use of traditional stoves using organic fuels (Coal, wood) for cooking which emits a lot of smoke and CO which affects the respiratory system.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can be affected by microbial pollution, gases including Radon, CO, CO2, Volatile Organic Compounds as formaldehyde, benzene, trichlorethylene, xylene, toluene, particulate matter, pollen and fungal spores, pesticides etc or any mass or force. stress that can cause serious health conditions. Most indoor pollutants are carcinogenic and neurotoxins.
IAQ can be improved by proper ventilation, use of filters and exhaust fans to some extent. Alternatives to Addressing Indoor Air Pollution
Some plants that can be grown indoors (shade-loving plants) can be safely used as a good source of indoor air pollution reduction. Plants, due to their ability to photosynthesize, can absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide through their stomata and release oxygen as a product, thus making the air suitable for breathing by humans. Plants release excess water as water vapor through stomata through the process of physiological transpiration thereby cooling and increasing humidity in the environment. therefore plants can act as an air purifier and also act as a substitute for air conditioners to some extent. Plants are more effective at filtering air pollutants than air purifiers and filters that use electricity. An added bonus when plants are used as cleansers is that they are beautiful and provide a natural environment of beauty (greenery) that promotes inner calm and peace. The plants are inexpensive and do not require electricity to operate.
A study by NASA shows that houseplants remove indoor air pollutants. Most houseplants are probably developed from plants that grow under the rainforest and under the canopy of large trees such as Banyan Ficus and so on. These plants must be able to survive in the presence of mold and mildew and prevent attacks on their leaves. They practice by developing microbes in the root system that serve the purpose of organic transformation and fungi and are able, effectively, to biodegrade common indoor pollutants such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene, which are cleaning products and household products, and provide protection against fungi. in the air.
According to NASA, plants and the medium in which they are grown can remove 99. 9% of indoor air pollutants mainly VOCs. Not the leaves but the associated soil microbes that grow in the rhizosphere of these indoor plants are able to destroy the toxic chemicals produced by the plant’s root growth.
There are about 50 plants that can be grown indoors that are probably developed from plants that grow under the rainforest and under the canopy of large trees. Names Some commonly used plants suitable for Indian environmental conditions are mentioned below: Anthurium, Begonia, Asplenium, Dieffenbachia, Dracaena, Rubber plant, Fittonia, Maranta, Monstera, Syngonium, Alocasia, Philodendron, Pothos, Bamboo palm, Poinsettia, Peace lily, Azalea, Areca palm, Bosten fern, Dwarf date palm etc. To keep the indoor environment healthy and free from pollutants it is recommended to place indoor plants placed inside the room or meeting hall, hospitals, schools in a place where sunlight enters for a certain period of time. hours of the day. However, there are important questions about whether plants can affect indoor air sufficiently. Some scientists and interior spacers say that research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows the effectiveness of plants as indoor air cleaners.
At first it was thought that plants remove chemicals by taking in the leaves and photosynthetic processes. But research measuring the amount of pollutants before the plants and leaves and after removing the leaves shows that in fact the leaves but the rhizosphere microflora ( soil bacteria. ) in these plants are able to degrade and decompose the pollutants . Scientists have identified several bacteria commonly isolated from the root-soil environment that are capable of destroying toxic chemicals produced by plant root growth.
As plants remove pollutants and make the environment clean, awareness should be created among the masses about their cultivation, propagation and appreciation.
The maintenance and cultivation of indoor plants should be given due consideration
Plants should be grown in pots with a small mixture of soil, sand and fertilizers.
Pots should be placed where sunlight enters. Plants can be taken out once a week for a few hours.
Plants should be well watered and cleaned. Water logging should be avoided as the soil microflora actually reduces internal pollution.
Fertilizers should be given according to the needs of the particular plant.
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