The Effect of an Active Plant-Based System on Perceived Air Pollution

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Active plant-based systems are emerging technologies that aim to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). A person’s olfactory system is able to recognize the perceived odor intensity of various materials relatively well, and in many cases, the nose seems to be a better perceiver of pollutants than some equipment is. The aim of this study was to assess the odor coming out of two different test chambers in the SenseLab, where the participants were asked to evaluate blindly the level of acceptability, intensity, odor recognition, and preference at individual level with their noses. Two chambers were furnished with the same amount of new flooring material, and one of the chambers, Chamber A, also included an active plant-based system. The results showed that in general, the level of odor intensity was lower in Chamber B than in Chamber A, the level of acceptability was lower in Chamber A than in Chamber B, and the participants identified similar sources in both chambers. Finally, the preference was slightly higher for Chamber B over Chamber A. When people do not see the interior details of a room and have to rely on olfactory perception, they prefer a room without plants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8233
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Active plant-based system
  • Indoor air quality
  • Phytoremediation
  • Plant monitoring
  • Pollution sources
  • Sensory assessment


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