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LANDSCAPE PLANTS

Primary problem in Bus Station is its air pollution. The entire space is normally used
up by trafficking buses on departure, arrival and waiting areas.
A building that's full of green plants greets you with an unmistakably different
feeling. The air is alive and clean, crackling with positive energy. The plants seem to be
giving off not only oxygen but also good vibrations.
But plants differs not only because of what they are giving off, but because of what
they are taking in. Some plants literally consume the chemical pollutants that pervade
modern structures and may be responsible for health problems from sore throats to cancer.
Plants and landscaping can clean the air and make a safer place for us to breathe.

• Formaldehyde is more complicated than many simple carbon compounds because it


adopts different forms. Formaldehyde is a gas at room temperature, but the gas
readily converts to a variety of derivatives. These derivatives generally behave
similarly to gaseous formaldehyde and are used in industry. When present at levels
above 0.1 parts per million parts of air, it can cause a wide range of symptoms from
burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat, to nausea, coughing, and even skin
rashes. Xylene, benzene, and carbon monoxide are among the other invisible
gases that can cause a similar array of symptoms. In a study by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an 800-cubic-foot room (10 feet by 10 feet
by 8 feet) contained pollution levels of approximately 1,808 micrograms of
formaldehyde, 112 micrograms of xylene, and 67 micrograms of benzene.

• Common house plants such as the Boston fern, English ivy, and spider plant are
inexpensive, ecologically sound, aesthetically pleasing ways to filter toxins from your
home, particularly during these winter months when you are likely to spend most of
your time closed up indoors with the windows shut. A single Boston fern can remove
1,800 micrograms of formaldehyde from the air (nearly the total amount found in the
EPA study) in about an hour.
Some plants, of course, are especially good at filtering certain pollutants.
The areca palm, for example, is the most effective filter of xylene. Other plants,
such as Boston ferns, chrysanthemums, and dwarf date palms, are better at
removing formaldehyde.

• Carbon monoxide is an unwanted by-product of numerous thermal processes.


It is produced in the course of all oxygen-under saturated combustion processes
involving carbon and its compounds. The natural sources of carbon monoxide
predominate (90% of total emissions); the remaining 10% are made up of motor-
vehicle emissions (55%), industry (11%) and other emitters (HORN, 1989).
Carbon monoxide is a component of "town gas".

 ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOUR
• Water:
Carbon monoxide is only slightly soluble in water. Depressurizing the
compressed gas quickly leads to the formation of explosive mixtures
over the surface of the water. Carbon monoxide is listed under water
hazard class 0 in the Federal Republic of Germany (no hazard to
water). It has a toxic effect on fish.
• Air:
Carbon monoxide is about as dense as air. It ingresses into the
atmosphere by way of exhaust gases and is rapidly oxidised to form
carbon dioxide. The substance is particularly hazardous because of ist
widespread dispersion and the high toxicity level for humans and
animals. Particular attention is therefore to be paid to the CO
concentration in breathing air in smog areas.
• Soil:
Oxygen-undersaturated soils have been found to have a higher
concentration of carbon dioxide oxidised from carbon monoxide. CO
accelerates the oxidation of NO to form NO2. Roughly 80 t CO/km2 are
converted every year by soil bacteria.
• Half-life:
The dwell time of CO in the atmosphere is between 1 and 2 months on
average (HORN, 1989). The half-life of carbon monoxide bonded in
blood is about 250 minutes (HORN, 1989).
• Degradation, decomposition products:
Carbon monoxide rapidly oxidises to form carbon dioxide. Especially at
higher temperatures, it reacts explosively with numerous substances
(e.g. aluminium dust, potassium, nitrogen dioxide) with heat being
produced (e.g. bromine trifluoride, silver oxide). Plants metabolise CO
to form CO2 or methane

BOSTON FERN
Type: Hanging perennial
Main Pollutant Removed: Formaldehyde, at a rate of
1,863 micrograms per hour.
Other Pollutants Removed: Xylene, at a rate of 208
micrograms per hour
Care: They are easy to grow in medium to bright light. As
with most plants, water them only when the soil feels dry.

ENGLISH IVY
Type: Hanging perennial.
Main Pollutant Removed: Benzene; the plant
removed 90 percent from a sealed chamber.
Other Pollutants Removed: Formaldehyde, at a
rate of 1,120 micrograms per hour. Xylene, at a rate
of 131 micrograms per hour.
Recommended Placement: These are especially
effective in a room that has been freshly painted or
carpeted. They're also beneficial in a room that
contains plastic equipment or furnishings (computers,
printers, fax machines) or ink.
Care: These plants are easy to grow in bright light.
ARECA PALM
Type: Upright perennial.
Main Pollutant Removed: Xylene, at a rate of
654 micrograms per hour.
Other Pollutants Removed: Formaldehyde, at a
rate of 938 micrograms per hour.
Recommended Placement: Areca palms can be
used effectively in virtually any room, but are
especially useful in those that are carpeted or
contain freshly varnished furniture.
Care: These plants grow well in the sun. They
need year-round warmth, ample humidity, and
filtered sunlight.

SPIDER PLANT
Type: Trailing perennial.
Main Pollutant Removed: Carbon monoxide; the
plant removed over 96 percent of this potentially
deadly gas.
Other Pollutants Removed: Xylene, at a rate of
268 micrograms per hour. Formaldehyde, at a rate
of 560 micrograms per hour.
Recommended Placement: These are useful in
kitchens with gas stoves or in rooms with fireplaces,
where carbon monoxide may accumulate.
Care: They are easy to grow in bright to medium
light.

JANET CRAIG/STRIPED DRACAENA


Type: Upright perennial.
Main Pollutants Removed: Formaldehyde, at a rate of
1,361 micrograms per hour. Xylene, at a rate of l54
micrograms per hour.
Care: This plant needs bright to medium light, and can
reach heights of fifteen feet, although it is best kept
smaller.
BAMBOO

• Helps Reverse Global Warming: Incredible and true, bamboo produces the MOST
OXYGEN of all the plants! And it CONSUMES MORE CARBON DIOXIDE than any other
plant!
• Sustainably Harvested & Annually Renewable: Mature bamboos produce new
shoots and canes each year, which can be harvested individually without destroying
the plant.
• Fastest Growing Plant on the Planet: New shoots of some tropical species have
been clocked growing up to 4 FEET PER DAY in their shooting season!
• Environmental Cleanup: Bamboo plants are very effective at removing metals and
other toxic substances from soils and water.