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Chemical Gas Exposure


Chemical gas exposure may arise from many different sources. In attempting to diagnose African Violets, it is a problem that is often overlooked, particularly because its symptoms mimic those of other problems. In a household setting, the most common source of chemical gas exposure is natural gas, i.e., from a gas stove or other gas-operated appliance. However, African Violets have also been known to react adversely to paint fumes, even when the paint is dry.

Distinguishing Symptoms

Because the symptoms of chemical gas exposure are similar to those of numerous organic conditions, the only sure way to distinguish it from other possible problems is to locate the source of the chemical gas. It may be natural gas, paint fumes or vapors from some other volatile agent. However, the African Violet Society of America recommends a method which they assert will provide proof of chemical gas exposure. They suggest putting a young tomato plant among your African Violets. When exposed to even small amounts of chemical gas, the leaves of the tomato plant will begin to sag within a few hours.

Other Symptoms


Locate the source of the chemical gas and either remove the source or move the plants to an unaffected area. (Note: In general, African Violets enjoy the same environment as people do. What goes for temperature, humidity and cleanliness also goes for exposure to toxic fumes. For this reason, do not let any exposure to chemical gas go unfixed. If your African Violets are getting sick from the fumes, chances are, you will too.)


Eliminate any possible source of chemical gas exposure.

For more about African Violets and the air quality they need, see "Caring for African Violets."

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