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Book Reviews | How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Plants That Purify Your ...

How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Plants That Purify Your Home or Office

By Dr. B.C. Wolverton
Penguin, 1997
$16.95 paperback

Plants are the lungs of the earth. They produce the oxygen that makes life possible, they add precious moisture to the air, and they filter toxins. Houseplants can perform these essential functions in your home or office with the same efficiency as a rainforest in our biosphere.

Studies show that Americans spend 90 percent of their lives indoors, which means that good indoor air quality is vital for good health. How to Grow Fresh Air will show you how to purify the environment that has the most impact on you.

In research designed to create a breathable environment for a NASA lunar habitat, author and noted scientist Dr. B.C. Wolverton discovered that houseplants are the best filters of common pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene. Hundreds of these poisonous chemicals can be released by furniture, carpets and building material and then trapped by closed ventilation systems, leading to the host of respiratory and allergic reactions now called “sick building syndrome.” In this full-colored, easy-to-follow guide, Dr. Wolverton shows you how to grow and nurture 50 plants as accessible and trouble-free as the tulip and the Boston fern, and includes many beautiful but commonly found varieties not generally considered indoor plants. He also rates each plant for its effectiveness in removing various pollutants, as well as each plant’s ease of growth and maintenance.

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