Trees improve air quality by capturing pollutants

One of the things we love when travelling through the NE and NW part of the country, is driving through the forests.  In Washington we walked in an old growth forest and it was amazing how big some of the trees were. The other thing we have noticed is how much cleaner the air smells.

Studies have shown trees can improve air quality by capturing various  air pollutants and toxic gases including carbon monoxide.

In an article  written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss  from Earthtalk they discuss this at length.

In fact, a single tree can absorb 10 pounds of air pollutants per year. In a study published in 2014, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year.

“We found that, in general, the greater the tree cover, the greater the pollution removal, and the greater the removal and population density, the greater the value of human health benefits,” said Dave Nowak of the U.S. Forest Service.  Read entire article

This is something everyone should consider when landscaping their yards or clearing land. Plant and/or keep as many trees as possible. Too many people clear trees because they make a mess when the leaves fall, sap gets on the driveway or they shade the yard and grass dies for lack of sun.

We also don’t take into consideration that spending time outdoors surrounded by trees is good for our mental health. There is just something about walking in a park that comforts the soul.

What do you think?