Study Finds that Plants Reduce Air Pollution in Cities

It has been a known fact for ages that plants have a positive effect on our environment. The most commonly known benefit is their ability to take in our carbon dioxide waste and produce breathable oxygen. They also provide shade and aesthetic beauty to our neighborhoods, but if you live in a city, a new study has found that plants in your area can reduce air pollution by two major contaminants to a greater extent than was ever previously thought possible.

The Study:

The ACS journal, Environmental Science & Technology has found that liberal placement of plants like grass, climbing ivy, and trees in urban areas can reduce street level concentration of NO2 by as much as 40% and reduce particulate matter by 60%. Previous estimates only placed these numbers at about 5%.

More Habitable Urban Areas

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) are air pollutants that are harmful for humans to breathe in and lead to increased death and illness in the community when concentrations areĀ . Plants act as filters that can help reduce this threat for those of us that live in urban areas, but for many cities, plants are less than abundant. So, what can you do about it? Get involved. Go to the leaders in your city and prove to them the benefits of increasing the number of plants in your community. With motivation and urgency we can clean the air, improve health, and increase habitability of urban areas all around the world.

Read the Study: Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure for Improvement of Air Quality in Urban Street Canyons

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