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Press Release 10-196

Plants Play Larger Role Than Thought in Cleaning up Air Pollution

Chemicals known as oxygenated volatile organic compounds (oVOCs) affect environment, human health

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Photo of a forest with mountains in the background.

Poplars, aspens, other trees provide extensive "ecosystem services."

Credit: USDA


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Photo of a forest of deciduous trees.

Deciduous trees in hardwood forests remove harmful chemicals from the atmosphere.

Credit: USDA


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Photo of trees.

Trees absorb more of a common air-polluting chemical than thought.

Credit: USDA


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Photo of leaves with drops of water.

Falling leaves act as tiny ferryboats that carry atmospheric gases with them to the forest floor.

Credit: USDA


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Cover of the October 22, 2010 issue of the journal Science.

The cover of the October 22, 2010 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2010


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