How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 1997
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Plants are the lungs of the earth: they produce the oxygen that makes life possible, add precious moisture, and filter toxins. Houseplants can perform these essential functions in your home or office with the same efficiency as a rainforest in our biosphere.
In research designed to create a breathable environment for a NASA lunar habitat, 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-color, 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 thought of as indoor plants. He also rates each plant for its effectiveness in removing pollutants, and its ease of growth and maintenance.
Studies show that Americans spend ninety 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.
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The book begins by discussing the research about the air purification qualities of houseplants. The initial chapters explain how air contaminates enter our homes, the adverse effects these toxins have on humans, and how plants remove the contaminates from the air. I was surprised to learn that common household items such as blankets, toys, gas stoves, computers, and carpets can lead to allergies, asthma, even cancer, and that they might contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Once I read how certain plants can remove these dangerous microbes from the air, my husband and I immediately discussed adding these plants to our home.
The author explains in great detail how to care for the plants, which I found very helpful as a novice indoor gardener. The author also details the specific toxins that different plants remove, and indicates whether the plants transpire at night (which is good for a bedroom) or during the day.
In addition to being informative, this book has beautiful photos of all the plants & is very attractive. Makes great housewarming gift!
This book is an excellent addition to an avid collector's plant library, both for its curiosity value & beautiful coverage of basic houseplants, and doubtless of interest to people concerned about air quality as well. It also provides enough basic information on each plant to be a useful reference for beginning enthusiast, but I would qualify that by saying that newbies will probably want a more broadly based work as their first home reference guide. For people looking for gift books, the pictures & layout are lovely.
There are many positive aspects of this book - nicely shot photos and overviews of many plants, including various rankings for each plant: Removal of Chemical Vapors, Ease of Growth and Maintenance, Resistance to Insect Infestation, Transpiration Rate. It also does a good job explaining why each of these aspects is important.
I took off one star for how brief and general the overview and care are - while this is a good basic listing of plants, you're going to need another reference for tips on purchasing, planting, placement, etc.
I took off another star for something I find much more important - it's probably enough to knock off the two stars on its own. There is NO indication on any of the plant pages as to toxicity. For those of us who have pets and/or children, it is critical to know what in our homes is poisonous. I specifically checked the pages for plants that I know offhand to be toxic - Poinsettia and Peace Lilly - and neither mentioned anything about it.
This could be a forgivable omission in a general listing of plants, but for a book that claims to "Purify Your Home or Office" it seems unnecessarily reckless.
For example, it recommends the Peace Lilly, saying its "ability to remove indoor air pollutants and its excellent performance in all categories make it a most valuable houseplant," without mentioning that if ingested by pets, it can cause symptoms leading to "convulsions, renal failure, coma and death." [...]
I plan on going through the book, searching online to find out how toxic each listed plant is, and labeling them as such in the book. If you're willing to do this, then the book should be useful to you.