Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health; the air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside.
Living and working in places rife with air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can cause “sick building syndrome,” which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation.
NASA scientists have been working to understand this problem and find solutions.
Why NASA makes this research?
You see, NASA had a small problem on their hands when it came to long-period manned space missions. They needed an efficient, lasting source of clean air to keep astronauts alive and thriving during extended interstellar travel. What they discovered is that a few common houseplants, and one in particular—Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Name of Plant) (botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata)—did the job wonderfully and were also powerful air purifiers to boot.
Their space-age solution was an easy one that anyone can use: Use houseplants to clean the air.
What causes indoor air Pollution?
Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products in homes and offices can emit a variety of toxic compounds, like formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene
Indoor air pollution can also be caused by pollen, bacteria, and molds, as outdoor air contaminants like car exhaust finds its way into buildings, whereas Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are the gasses that present around us which relates to our breathing process etc.
Indoor plants may make people smarter by allowing them to stay alert and reducing mental fatigue.
Scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate
Given that people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, air quality matters
So, how do indoor plants clean the indoor air?
Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. But that’s not all—microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.
The NASA study suggested that Approximately 1 plant for every 100 square feet, the typical apartment requires 10 to 15 house plants.
Studies by scientists at NASA, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia and other respected institutions.