Environ Health Toxicol.  2014 ;29(1):e2014014. 10.5620/eht.e2014014.

House-plant placement for indoor air purification and health benefits on asthmatics

  • 1Institute for Environmental Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. envlim@yuhs.ac
  • 2Institute of Life Science & Resources, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Environmental Engineering, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 6Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Some plants were placed in indoor locations frequented by asthmatics in order to evaluate the quality of indoor air and examine the health benefits to asthmatics.
The present study classified the participants into two groups: households of continuation and households of withdrawal by a quasi-experimental design. The households of continuation spent the two observation terms with indoor plants, whereas the households of withdrawal passed the former observation terms with indoor plants and went through the latter observation term without any indoor plants.
The household of continuation showed a continual decrease in the indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the entire observation period, but the household of withdrawal performed an increase in the indoor concentrations of VOCs, except formaldehyde and toluene during the latter observation term after the decrease during the former observation term. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) increased in the households of continuation with the value of 13.9 L/min in the morning and 20.6 L/ min in the evening, but decreased in the households of withdrawal with the value of -24.7 L/min in the morning and -30.2 L/min in the evening in the first experimental season. All of the households exhibited a decrease in the value of PEFR in the second experimental season.
Limitations to the generalizability of findings regarding the presence of plants indoors can be seen as a more general expression of such a benefit of human-environment relations.


Asthma; Formaldehyde; Health; House-plant; Indoor air quality; Volatile organic compounds

MeSH Terms

Air Pollution, Indoor
Family Characteristics
Insurance Benefits*
Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds
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