News — EarthTalk

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Mo

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ss Dear EarthTalk: Besides generating seasonal allergens, do any plants actually reduce air quality or cause air pollution? —Mike T., San Juan, PR While many of us thought Ronald Reagan sounded crazy back in 1981 when he told America that “trees cause more pollution than automobiles do,” the then-President may have been on to something. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley recently unveiled the results of a study in which they determined that certain trees and plants common in Southern California off-gas natural yet nevertheless harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—to attract pollinators, protect against environmental stressors, and repel...

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