Chlorophytum, The Depolluting Plant

Named also Phalangère or Spider Plant, this plant improves the quality of indoor air, one of the most depolluting plants.

The soup with chemical pollutants usually found in homes”

Origin of toxic
Pathological disorders and symptoms noted
Decontamination of ambient air by plants
Main toxic pollutants absorbed and cleaned up by the Chlorophytum plant
Condition of life of the Chlorophytum plant
Read also

Our houses have become hermetic. In addition to increasing the composition of industrial materials, for technical reasons we limit the direct air exchange with the outside, which has the effect of increasing the concentration of toxic substances inside the habitat. All studies show today that indoor air is much more polluted than outdoor air, simply because it comes from the outside base, to which is added the confinement of many domestic toxic substances.

We live about 70% of our time indoors, so we are heavily exposed to these toxic substances for a long time. Most of these toxic are odorless, besides, by the habit of being exposed to them for a long time, the smells are no longer perceived, our sense of smell no longer detects them. Breathing daily about 15,000 liters of air a day, imagine the potential damage to health.

Origin of toxic:

These sources of indoor air pollutants come first from the outside air, then a multitude of dangerous agents are present in our homes:
– Construction and development materials (paints, coatings, insulation, adhesives, fabrics, carpets, wood, plastics, PVC, …).
– Cleaning and housekeeping products, cosmetics, chemicals developed for your body, etc.
These liquid or solid contaminant pollutants include volatile compounds (VOCs), some of which take years to evaporate gradually from a solidified material. In 2018, more than 900 substances have been identified as toxic contaminants by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, Burchett, Torpy & Brennan 2009).
More surprisingly, the interactions between the various pollutants in them, in addition to the duration of exposure sometimes have highly toxic and unheard of impacts on health, your home then becomes a testing laboratory for contaminant soups.

Pathological disorders and symptoms noted:

People who are exposed to indoor pollutants usually complain of allergies, asthma, eye, nose and throat irritation, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, loss of concentration, and so on. In the long term, real illnesses occur and discomfort can become chronic. According to the World Health Organization, the syndrome of poisoned houses affects 25 to 30% of people, especially those working in offices. Often characterized by a set of unexplained symptoms (headache, loss of energy, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, dry cough, frequent ENT diseases, chronic fatigue, etc.

Decontamination of ambient air by plants

Even the most powerful filter will never do the work done by some plants to clean the air. As evidenced by several NASA closed chamber studies, it is scientifically proven and well known that air quality improves remarkably after the introduction of, for example, a single fern!

“They convert them into useful materials for their growth”

Since the 1990s, many countries have begun to focus on the use of plants to improve indoor air quality. Canadian researchers have also experimented in housing, Novtec House in Montreal. The creation of the Clean Air Council in the United States, Plants for People in the Netherlands, France’s Observatory of Indoor Air Quality, etc. Several years later (in 2002), the Phyt’Air program appeared in France. This research group did studies and similarly confirmed the effectiveness of the Chlorophytum plant to clean the air on the following toxins.

The action of decontamination of air by plants is a process of chemical decomposition of molecules. Complicated to describe, his comprehension in the details requires a thorough knowledge in botany and chemistry. It can not be described here, going beyond the object of this article. The filtering is of course linked to the mitochondrial respiration and photo-respiration of the plant. It all starts with the action of the ostioles of stomata consisting of 2 kidney shaped cells, having an orifice through which the gases enter and circulate. The stomata thus control the gas and molecular exchanges of the plant.
Microorganisms: As early as 1989, Wolverton identified microorganisms in the soil of plants that had been in a pot for a long time. According to his research, these
Living microorganisms in symbiosis near the roots are also known to be able to biodegrade toxic pollutants.

In addition to filtering the air of its pollutants, they convert them into materials useful for their growth. In addition, plants destroy many spores and bacteria that circulate in the air, reducing the risk of infections.

Main toxic pollutants absorbed and cleaned up by the Chlorophytum plant.

Irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, causing conjunctivitis, headache and difficulty breathing with pain in the throat. Severe allergy Genotoxic and certain carcinogen. Potential reproductive effects: spontaneous abortions, congenital malformations, abnormal birth weight. infertility and endometriosis.
[More about Formaldehyde]

It is found mainly:
– In resins, such as those contained in agglomerates, plywood, particle board, glass wool, carpets, cladding, etc.
– Main component of synthetic foams, polyurethane foams, thermosetting resins.
– Permanent glues, glues for tapestries, etc.
– In the paintings
– In toothpaste, the use of toothpastes is still allowed in the European Union (banned in the United States in 1980).
– As an animal and human disinfectant, as a fixer and organic preservative, for example as a vaccine preservative.
– In dentistry, integrated in a large number of specialties intended to close the channels of devitalized teeth.

Carbon monoxide, odorless gas highly toxic resulting from incomplete and various combustion emanations.

– Ammonia is used for various cleaning products,
– Ammonia is also used for the manufacture of fertilizers, explosives
– It is used in the manufacture of polymers such as plastics, natural caoutchouc (latex) and artificial rubbers, glues, paints, natural and synthetic resins, etc.

– Toluene, It is a harmful, reprotoxic and ecotoxic product. It has as primary targets the central nervous system (brain, marrow). [more about Toluene],
It is found as:
– Aditive in standard fuels (mixed with benzene and xylenes). It is therefore present in various petroleum fuels.
– Very common as a solvent or component for the manufacture of paints, varnishes, lacquers, waxes and inks (printing and others), for the manufacture of adhesives and glues, for the tanning of leather, etc. It is also used as extraction solvent in the cosmetics industry (perfume) and in the pharmacochemical industry.
It is used as a starting material in the composition of many manufactured products: synthesis of rubber, toluene diisocyanate, phenol, TNT (TDI), necessary to obtain polyurethane foam, benzene and xylenes, nitrotoluene, chloride of benzyl, benzaldehyde, p-toluenesulfonic acid, vinyltoluene, etc.

– Xylene, dimethylbenzene. It is one of the most produced chemical compounds. Xylene has a harmful effect on health especially on the brain by causing neurological disorders[more about Xylene] .
Les trouvbes (aigüe ou chronique) sont variables selon le type et la durée d’exposition .
– Il est utilisé comme solvant, diluant et aditif pour la peinture et les vernis, dans industries de l’impression et les encres, le caoutchouc et le cuir. également utilisé pour le nettoyage.
– Il employé pour la production de polymères de type téréphtalate.
– Le xylène est utilisé également comme pesticide courant pour les bois domestiques (xylophène, etc.). Aussi présent dans l’essence.

– Benzene. Less used in Europe since multiple poisoning [more aboute]

it is still used for some specific applications, as well as commonly in Asian countries.
– In the twenty-first century, benzene is still used by Western countries: as an additive to gasoline, perfumes (as a solvent), perfumes, scented candles, and laboratories for analysis and research (solvent and reagent).
– It is also used in the synthesis of other compounds of organic chemistry, different resins, nylon. These synthetic intermediates are also used for the production of a wide range of chemical compounds such as polymers and rubbers, solvents, plasticizers, detergents, perfumes, azo dyes, food additives, medicines, pesticides, explosives, etc.

Condition of life of the Chlorophytum plant

Growth: Very fast when conditions are right.
Brightness: intense to weak, without much direct sun
Watering: frequent and in large quantities, the root ball must always be wet.
Places of life: Kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, workshop, outside (but fear frost).
Pot size: Whatever the size of the pot, without being invasive, the pot surface will be properly and quickly covered.

The trimming of a pot or a jadiniere with other plants is conceivable: If the size of the pot is reasonable, this plant adapts very well with other plants in the same pot, while bringing the freshness to the pot surface.

Sources, and read also :

– Applied Ecology, Pollution Control Plants (fr).
– Scientific detail on RubisCO (fr).
– Study of Sydney University of Technology (UTS) – Potted-plants Can Significantly Reduce Urban/Indoor Air Pollutio (en)
The poisoned house (By “Que Choisir” french magazine n° 217)



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