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Pinky Sharma, Pushpa C. Tomar and Shilpa S. Chapadgaonkar*


Recently, several reports of poor indoor air quality at home and work places with serious side effects on human health have hit the headlines. Though we spend 90% of our time indoor, the monitoring and control of indoor air quality has been neglected. Sources of indoor air pollution consist of combustion products from oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, tobacco products, building material, asbestos, carpet fibres, pesticides used in home, biological pollutants like mites and molds and aerosols from personal care products. Outdoor air pollution also enters the indoor area by ventilation and infiltration. However, the pollutants persist in the indoor air for long time duration exerting detrimental effects on the occupants. The commonly observed harmful effects are irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Also cough, wheeze, chest tightness and increased airway responsiveness to allergens. Many indoor ornamental plants such as spider plant, snake plant, golden pothos and Gerber daisy etc. have been seen to mitigate the indoor pollution. In fact, the nursery business is blooming due to increase in demand of these plants. Plants remove pollutants such as carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, degrade volatile organic compounds (VOC) through rhizosperic microbes and have the capacity to sequester particulate matter. An interesting concept of green walls or botanical biofilters is causing waves in phytoremediation. The early results of such systems are encouraging. The present paper reviews the plants and mechanism of pollution mitigation through indoor plants.

Keywords: Indoor Air Pollution (IAP), Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Phytoremediation.

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