Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Your Peace Lily Killing You?


According to this report in The Daily Green, house plants are emitting dangerous VOCs to your indoor air. But wait, back that up, if you actually read past the scarey headline and intro sentence (which few folks do), the research report actually shows it is NOT the plants that are the problem -- it is how they are treated and what materials you plant them in. Here is the 411 (my emphasis added):
"Researchers concluded that some of the VOCs were released by microorganisms in the soil (some of microorganisms in soil are credited with removing VOCs in other experiments). But many of the VOCs came from pesticides applied to the plants at the greenhouses or farms where they were grown, and 11 were produced by the plants' plastic pots. Whatever the source, the plants produced more VOCs in daytime sunlight than at night.
"The scientists noted that they did not determine whether the levels of VOCs produced might be harmful to human health. A cursory glance at the results suggests that, to reduce indoor air pollution, one should choose organic house plants grown without pesticides and pot them in ceramic or other non-plastic pots."
In short, if you pot in plastic and spray with pesticides, yeah, you are going to get poison chemicals released in your inside air. No-brainer, right?

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