When NASA is hard at work solving problems for space exploration, they often find solutions with everyday, real life applications. One such study found that a few common houseplants are actually natural air purifiers, and remove common household pollutants such as trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and formaldehyde. We profiled four of the studied plants that also happen to be characterized by their unique aesthetic appeal.
1. Gerber Daisy (gerbera jamesonii)
Gerbera is one of the most popular flowers in the world, and with approximately 30 species to its name, is available in an array of colors. In NASA’s study, this little power flower removed an impressive amount of trichloroethylene (TCE) and benzene from their test chamber. It also removed about half of the formaldehyde.
2. Peace Lily (spathiphyllum “mauna loa”)
The peace lily is a popular indoor ornament and, despite its name, not actually a lily. Like the gerber daisy, this gorgeous flowered greenery did a top-notch job with removing all three offending chemicals that were tested.
3. Chinese Evergreen (aglaonema modestum)
This plant is popular for its simple beauty and maintenance ease. After being in NASA’s experimental toxic test chamber for six weeks of intermittent exposure, it removed 85.8% of benzene from the air.
4. Golden Pothos (scindapsus aureus)
An easy plant to care for, golden pothos is one of the longest lasting interior plants. Of all the plants in the NASA study, it seems the golden pothos exhibited the most notable overall air purification performance. Benzene and TCEconcentrations both dive bombed to near negligible amounts after sharing the chamber with the golden pothos for 24 hours, even with it’s foliage removed!