Three decades ago, NASA’s detailed research showed that indoor plants and their accompanying soil microorganisms have the ability to reduce the level of pollution, especially gaseous ones, in the air. The results have been confirmed at present times. They showed that thanks to cultivation of 6 pot plants in a classroom, within 9 weeks there was a decrease in the level of suspended PM 10 by about 30%, carbon dioxide by half and nitric oxide by 1/3. We currently have about 1000 species and varieties of houseplants that are suitable for contemporary rooms.
It is known that all plants have a positive effect on the human environment: they assimilate carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and effectively improve well-being, however usefulness in the field of air purification from substances harmful to human health has been determined for only about 50 species. To noticeably improve the air quality in a living or office room with an area of approx. 20 m2, you need six well-leafed, living pot plants, 30-40 cm high, growing in containers 20 cm in diameter or three larger plants grown in pots with a diameter of 30 cm.
Plants do not poison themselves with absorbed pollutants and adapt to specific conditions, they can even show increasing activity in this process, as the concentration of pollutants in the air increases.
Plants have developed efficient mechanisms for collecting and detoxifying pollutants.
Thanks to this, their ability to improve the quality of the surrounding air also reduces the risk to nearby people. The biological filter that plants are, is particularly important in the event of air pollution from means of communication.
In such a case, two factors are crucial – the planting width and its structure, which should be compact enough to allow the movement of contaminated air, when some particles suspended in the air will stop.
In the Whiff Zone projects we use such species of plants that are capable of accumulating a significant amount of particulate matter. Their high phytoremediation capacity in our climate conditions has been confirmed by several years of research conducted in Poland and Norway..