NASA research scientists have announced that the common indoor plant may provide a natural way of helping combat sick building syndrome.
Based on the use of common indoor plants for indoor air purification, NASA studied about a dozen popular varieties of ornamental plants to determine their effectiveness in removing several key pollutants associated with indoor air pollution. NASA research found that living plants are so efficient at absorbing contaminants in the air that some will be launched into space as part of the biological life support system aboard future orbiting space stations.
English ivy, philodendrons, spider plant and the golden pothos were labeled the most effective in removing polutants. Flowering plants such as gerbera daisy and chrysanthemums were rated superior in removing benzene from the air, while Boston fern was highly rated for removing formaldehyde. Other good performers are varieties of Dracaena and spathiphyllum (Peace Lily). However, all the plants tested had a positive impact on total air quality while removing carbon dioxide from indoor areas.
While more research is needed, Dr. Bill Wolverton, formerly a senior research scientist at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center said “We feel that future results will provide an even stronger argument that common indoor landscaping plants can be a very effective part of a system used to provide pollution free homes and work places.”