Trees can remove many pollutants from the soil and sometimes even change it into less harmful forms. They also intercept pollutants from the air. They absorb airborne chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. It addition, trees also take carbon dioxide out of the air to produce food, roots, leaves, and roots.
Trees absorb pollutants from the air by absorbing them through stomates on the leaves. In addition to carbon dioxide, trees remove sulfur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and particulates from the air. One study found that the trees in a 212-hectare (1 ha = 10,000 square meters) urban park removed 48 lbs of particulates, nine lbs of nitrogen dioxide, six lbs of sulfur dioxide, and two lbs of carbon monoxide, on a daily basis. Further, 300 trees could remove the pollution created by one person in his/her lifetime.
Trees and plants absorb nutrients and some pollutants through their leaves and their stomatal uptake. Trees also can remove pollutants through reaction of their own volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions with pollutants. While mostly this will generate newly formed pollutants, in some cases VOCs can react with pollutants to generate permanent pollutant sinks, which will remove the pollutant from the atmosphere.
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