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  • Do Air-Purifying Plants *Actually* Work?

    Do Air-Purifying Plants *Actually* Work?. Volatile organic compounds, which can cause harmful health effects, have a higher concentration indoors than outdoors. . Are your house plants doing anything to help? Sadly, not much, says Michael Dixon, a plant research expert. A 2019 review of 12 previous studies found that opening up windows or using ventilation systems reduces concentrations of VOCs much faster than plants can. You'd need anywhere from 100 to 1,000 plants per square meter of floor space to remove VOCs as effectively as opening your windows. The air-purifying potted plants misconception can be traced back to a late-1980s study. A researcher tested plants' ability to remove contaminants from a 30x30 inch space. It worked, but the plants were given large doses of pollutants in a small chamber. In order to get the same effects, the researcher said you’d need about 70 spider plants in a modern 1800-square-foot home. In some cases, potted plants could even be making your air quality worse due to contaminants or microorganisms in the soil, as well as salts from fertilizer. If you really want to cleanse your indoor air, Dixon says opening a window is the most effective method