Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Let house plants replace your Ionic Breeze

New research suggests that the air inside our homes can be much more polluted than the air outside. According to the EPA, the air inside your home can contain more than 900 volatile organic compounds that are released from TV sets, printers, and even your couch or carpet. The World Health Organization is now attributing 3 percent of human diseases to poor indoor air quality.

In light of this recent discovery, we have seen a huge number of air filtering and cleaning products hit the market in recent years. Almost everyone has seen the Ionic Breeze advertised on TV and in Sharper Image Magazine, but did you ever think that an ordinary house plant could provide your home with the same type of air cleansing benefits? According to Bill Wolverton, a former NASA environmental scientist who has spent more than 30 years studying how plants purify the air, they can.

Wolverton who has spent much of his time working on life support systems for the moon and Mars says that plant roots have ever-adapting microbes that absorb chemicals and toxicants. The plants essentially filter the air and convert these airborne poisons to energy and food. "Every chemical we tested, plants could take them out," said Wolverton.

Wolverton is currently working on comercializing a plant pot that can increase a plant's ability to filter your home's air. The device has a fan at the base of the pot that draws and traps toxins near the roots, where hungry microorganisms dwell. A version of this product has been sold in Japan for seven years as the EcoPlanter, which includes a mold-killing ultraviolet light. Wolverton claims his new device can make one plant clean as much dirty air as 100 plants.

If you're thinking about purchasing an air purification system any time soon, you may want to consider just adding some plants to your home. Not only can they provide the same air purification benefits , but they will likely cost less and look much nicer with your home decor than those ugly, plastic, air purification machines.

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