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Potted plants could purify poisonous indoor air

If you’ve ever set foot in a nail salon, you’ve probably smelled volatile organic compounds, chemicals that dissipate rapidly into the surrounding air like acetone and formaldehyde. Some have been linked to a number of health issues. Now, researchers have found a nearly effortless way to filter them from the air: potted house plants, The Washington Post reports. Using just one tropical plant called a bromeliad, scientists were able to remove 80% of six different compounds from the air in a small, sealed container, they reported today at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting. Another plant, the shrublike dracaena, was able to remove nearly 94% of acetone from the same container. Next, the researchers plan to test which plants are effective at purifying whole rooms, including nail salons.

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