Who has never heard that the abundance of green plants should be avoided at all costs inside a house and especially in the bedroom? Nothing is more wrong! Scientific research, conducted in recent years, tends to show that some of these plants have an amazing ability: they are able to fix harmful particles that pollute the air in homes, thus playing the role of purifiers. The first observations took place in the 1980s: NASA researchers - including Professor William Wolverton - studied ways to regenerate air in the extremely confined environment of orbital stations. It is from these works that scientists from several countries, such as Australia, Germany or England, became interested in the virtues of depolluting plants and their possible applications in our daily life. With success ! In France, it is the association "Plant'airpur", created in 2000 by interior landscaper Geneviève Chaudet, who has been piloting a national research program called "Phyt'air" for several years, in collaboration with CSTB ( Scientific and Technical Center for Building) and the Faculty of Pharmacy of Lille. How is a plant depolluting? "The depolluting plants are capable by gaseous exchange to recover the harmful particles present in the air, like carbon monoxide or benzene, for example. They decompose them chemically and reject water vapor and oxygen in much more than the carbon dioxide they also produce, explains Geneviève Chaudet. They absorb particles through the stomata: these small holes cover the leaves and can be compared to the pores of the skin. They also absorb them through the stem and the whole root system. " The "targeted" particles are microscopic fungi and molds, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide. Without forgetting the large family of volatile organic components (VOCs), which includes benzene, toluene, xylene, trichlorethylene, pentachlorophenol, ammonia and formaldehyde, better known for its preservative capacities under its common name of formaldehyde. These chemical pollutants are present in detergents, inks, solvents, paints or household products, and even in some whiteboard felts. To this must be added the electromagnetic waves emitted by televisions, computers and telephones. In other words, our whole daily universe. What plants are recommended? -The palm and the Boston fern are able to recycle formaldehyde and xylene. -Ficus benjamina and elastica (better known as rubber) target formaldehyde. -Schefflera and scindapsus (also called "devil's ivy") break down carbon monoxide and toluene. -Aloe vera and chlorophytum are effective against carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene and various allergens. -The statiphyllum is excellent against all volatile organic components, as well as against electromagnetic waves: computers, TV, microwaves ... Admittedly, it is difficult to make a choice according to the specific virtues of each of these plants . The advice is therefore to favor high-yielding plants, such as aloe vera, for example, which are capable of absorbing several C.O.V at the same time. For azaleas, which exert a particularly effective action against the ammonia contained in many cleaning products, kitchens or toilets are ideal places. Chrysanthemums, which target trichlorethylene and solvents, can be placed in freshly repainted rooms. For maximum yield, a plant should be provided for a room of 9 to 10 m2. The multiplicity of plants and their size nevertheless ensure a proportionally greater result. "With the development of environmental diseases such as hypersensitization to chemicals, we must spread the use of this type of plant. At the same time, new types of interior decoration such as plant walls will allow air renewal to be greater. scale ", concludes Geneviève Chaudet.