NASA recommends having plants at home that clean the air in closed spaces
When, in the late 1960s, environmental scientist Bill Wolverton used swamp plants to help the US Army eliminate the ravages of biological warfare, NASA sought advice from him. The aim: to open up new paths of research on how plant organisms can help improve environmental conditions for humans to live in space in the future.
Since then, the US space agency has published reports in which it reveals its studies on the air purifying ability of some plants in closed spaces. Its conclusions are of great interest when choosing which plants to decorate homes, as they can remove the five most common pollutants: benzene, xylene, ammonia, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
Pothos is one of the most popular plants in homes, offices and buildings. It is very resistant and does not need constant attention, which makes it a perfect option for air purification.
It can adapt to temperatures between 17 and 30°C and only needs water when it’s dry. It acts as an air filter, absorbing formaldehyde, xylene and benzene.
Also known as peace lilies, wind candles or flowers of death, spaths are very resistant in that they can survive with little water and light.
They thrive in places with temperatures over 18°C and live long, with the added benefit that they rid the air of its most common pollutants: benzene, xylene, ammonia, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
Yellow palm, also known as golden cane palm, comes from Asia and can grow up to three meters high.
Its air purifying function eliminates formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the environment.
This air purifying plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, St George’s sword and sansevieria, this plant is very commonly used to decorate interiors and can survive in very adverse conditions. It can also withstand outside temperatures from -5 to +40 °C.
It is very beneficial for the environment because it can improve the air quality by eliminating benzene, xylene, toluene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
Another plant often seen in parks and homes is the rubber fig, also known by its Latin name, Ficus robusta. It is a fast-growing air purifying plant and thus needs plenty of space.
It is good for eliminating formaldehyde from the air and, due to its intense perspiration, contributes to keeping a humid atmosphere.
Also known as ribbon plant, spider ivy and airplane plant, it thrives in darkness as well as light, in dry environments and at low temperatures.
It is one of the indoor plants that best filters formaldehyde and also fights other toxins and impurities in the air.
Originally from the forests of Europe, North Africa and the South-East Asian coast, this is a typical creeper plant that can climb on just about any surface - walls, rocks, trees – and grow many meters high.
It thrives in cold, humid environments and helps to air purification eliminating formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.