Air Clean Up

  • NASA’s Top 10 Air-Cleaning Plants

NASA’s Top 10 Air-Cleaning Plants

Jun 26 2015 Read 5154 Times

Quite often we see technology created for space used back on Earth. This is the case with NASA’s Clean Air Study. The research was originally designed to optimise clean air in space stations. As part of this research, NASA scientists specifically looked at air filtering plants.

As we all know, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but some plants also remove toxic substances, such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene. These toxins are associated with ‘sick building syndrome’.

What pollutants are in the air?

There are several different pollutants in the air, these three are the most toxic:

  • Trichloroethylene - Found in printing inks, solvents, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, paint remover/stripper.
  • Formaldehyde - Found in paper bags, facial tissues, paper towels, table napkins, plywood panelling, and synthetic fabric.
  • Benzene - Used to make plastics, rubber lubricants, dyes, drugs and pesticides, found in tobacco smoke and glue, furniture wax and paint.

What are the effects of air pollutants on humans?

  • Trichloroethylene - Can cause dizziness, excitement, headache, nausea, sickness, followed by drowsiness and coma.
  • Formaldehyde - Short term exposure can cause nose irritation, mouth and throat, in some cases can cause damage to lungs and larynx.
  • Benzene - Short term exposure can cause irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, increase in heart rate, headaches, confusion, and in some cases result in unconsciousness.

As a result of its research, NASA compiled a list of the top air-filtering plants in 1989, in association with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America.

NASA’s Top 10 List of Air Filtering Plants

  1. Aloe (Aloe Vera) - Everyone can grow an aloe vera, just place it in a sunny spot and watch it thrive. It will help to filter out toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene.

  2. Azalea (Rhododendron simsii) - Another good plant in order to keep formaldehyde at bay is azalea. It has beautiful blooms that do best in cooler areas.

  3. Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium) - The flowers from this plant help to combat the harmful toxins of benzene. This plant likes direct sun and a draught, so place near an sunny, open window.

  4. English ivy (Hedera helix) - This ivy has been shown to reduce fecal-matter particles in the air. Very easy to grow, just keep watered regularly.  

  5. Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) - Good at removing trichloroethylene, it can also remove benzene. This plant needs lots of light.

  6. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) - One of NASA’s best performers as it removes of three of the worst toxins - formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, and also combats toluene and xylene.

  7. Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata) - Another good performer, this plant can remove xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

  8. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') - This plant is great for filtering out formaldehyde. It needs humidity and low light, making it perfect for bathrooms.  

  9. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) - This resilient plant is a good remover of benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. And it is safe for pets.  

  10. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) - Pop a weeping fig in your living room and you will help to remove all the toxins brought in that typically lie in carpets, furniture and cleaning products, such as  formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. 

Now you know your plants, NASA researchers suggest that for efficient air cleaning, place at least one air filtering plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.

If you’d like to read more about the clean air directive, please see the following article: Everything You Need to Know about Changes to the Clean Air Directive.

Image Source: Leaft Plants

Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment




Events

FlowExpo 2020 - NEW DATES

Aug 08 2020 Guangzhou, China

securika

Aug 11 2020 Moscow, Russia

IE Expo China 2020 - NEW DATES

Aug 13 2020 Shanghai, China

The Water Show Africa 2020 - NEW DATES

Aug 20 2020 Johannesburg, South Africa

Aquatech China 2020

Aug 25 2020 Shanghai, China

View all events