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According to NASA, you can clean the air in your home using these plants

DIY : terrarium jungle

© Rustica

Magnús Sannleikur - published on 08/08/17

The report, published in the 80s, gives you simple, natural ways to boost free-air exchange in closed spaces.

Most buildings nowadays are so well insulated they won’t allow for free air exchange. That’s not a new problem, though: back in the 1980s NASA was already grappling with this very same issue, and published a not-so-well-known report on studies to address the problem. Open Culture quotes the report:

In this study the leaves, roots, soil, and associated microorganisms of plants have been evaluated as a possible means of reducing indoor air pollutants. Additionally, a novel approach of using plant systems for removing high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon has been designed from this work. This air filter design combines plants with an activated carbon filter as shown in Figure 1. The rationale for this design, which evolved from wastewater treatment studies, is based on moving large volumes of contaminated air through an activated carbon bed where smoke, organic chemicals, pathogenic microorganisms (if present), and possibly radon are absorbed by the carbon filter. Plant roots and their associated microorganisms then destroy the pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and the organic chemicals, eventually converting all of these air pollutants into new plant tissue. It is believed that the decayed radon products would be taken up by the plant roots and retained in the plant tissue.

If you want to, you can read the whole report here, but if you’re looking for a summary, made an incredible graphic that allows you to go through NASA’s report in a few minutes, and also helps you choose the plant you like the most!

NASA Guide to Air Filtering Houseplants

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