Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a “souped-up” house plant to “police” indoor pollutants.
Indoor air pollution is a reality. A myriad of chemicals from cooking to cleaning materials to increasing outdoor pollutants can adversely affect human health.
Benzene and Formaldehyde are known carcinogens and certain states have strict rules limiting their use (notably California and Minnesota).
It has been known that indoor plants can remove these pollutants but their impact is very minor. The scientists in Seattle modified the common house plant pothos by adding a rabbit gene for an enzyme that breaks down pollutants. These “souped-up” golden pothos have a remarkable ability to remove and detoxify pollutants.
In Canada, Oirgen Air is selling the new pothos plants and in the US Neoplants will begin sales this month. NASA scientists are conducting experiments with these plants to help reduce pollutants in the re-circulated air in the orbiting space station.