Can live plants help in fixing smog / air pollution emergency in Delhi?

Thick smog has enveloped New Delhi since the Diwali festival, as the Capital witnessed the worst spell of smog in a season on Sunday.

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The air quality has been “severe” as pollution levels touched a new high. Levels of particulate matter finer than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) crossed the 900 mark in some areas, recording almost 15 times the safety limit.

Residents continued to complain of respiratory problems and burning eyes as entire Delhi and NCR area remained covered in a shroud of smog the entire Saturday, while experts ruled out any respite with the situation expected to continue for a couple of days.

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The air quality continued to remain alarming in Delhi-NCR because of calm winds.

We are trying to explore the ways every delighted can do to curb the pollution and here is our proposition,

All indoors plants (flowering or not) are able to purify indoor air to some degree through their normal photosynthesis processes. But some were found to be more beneficial than others in removing harmful household toxins, even removing 90% of chemicals in the air in only twenty-four hours!

For the best results, put as many plants as you can care for in the rooms you use most, says environmental scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton. That means you’ll want at least two plants (in 10- to 12-inch pots) per 100 square feet of space;

Plant-filled homes contain up to 60% less mold, mildew and bacteria than bathrooms without plants, reveals a NASA study.

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Lucky for us, nature has a way of keeping itself clean. There are many powerful air-cleaning plants that naturally remove pollutants from the air.

The NASA Clean Air Study has been led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in association with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA).

Here are 28 best air purifying plants according to NASA

1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

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2. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

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3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

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4. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)

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5. English Ivy (Hedera helix) English Ivy (Hedera helix)

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6. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

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7. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)

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8. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

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9. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

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10. Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

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11. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

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12. Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

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13. Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum)

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14. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia “Exotica Compacta”)

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15. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

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16. Schefflera / Umbrella Plant (Schefflera arboricola)

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17. Heart-Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Oxycardium)

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18. Snake plant / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

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19. Elephant Ear Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum / tuxla)

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20. Dwarf Banana

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21. Dendrobium Orchid (Dendrobium)

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22. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

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23. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema crispum “Silver Queen”)

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24. Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)

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25. Croton (Codiaeum variegatum pictum)

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26. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

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27. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

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28. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

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Given that people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, air quality matters . Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products in homes and offices can emit a variety of toxic compounds, like formaldehyde.

Adding potted plants to a room has been shown to reduce the amount of air particulates.

Beyond air quality, plants just make people feel better.

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In fact, in a 2008 study, Dutch researchers found that hospital patients with indoor plants in their rooms reported lower stress levels than patients without them.

For example, hospital patients with plants in their rooms were more positive and had lower blood pressure and stress levels. Similarly, indoor plants may make people smarter by allowing them to stay alert and reducing mental fatigue .

NASA results suggest that certain common indoor plants may provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air, helping neutralize the effects of sick building syndrome.