A NASA study explains how to purify air with house plants


You’ve probably heard plants can improve your air quality. Just about every paper on the subject, [and I mean literally all of them,] are based on a 1989 NASA study and a follow up by the lead scientist. The scientists collected plants and put them in chambers, then pumped in harmful chemicals like these: After 24 hours, they tested the air quality in each chamber. Some plants were able to remove up to 90% of the harmful chemicals. So which plants were the most effective? NASA scientists tested familiar ones. “All the plants they have in their list are just very common house plants. This is Dr Dennis Stevenson, Vice President for science at the New York Botanical Garden. “I think they picked them because they were looking at things that people would have in their environments. As opposed to some exotic, weird tropical plant that nobody knows anything about.” All of these plants are excellent at getting rid of harmful indoor carcinogens. Here’s how it works: Plants take in the harmful gasses out of the atmosphere and sequester them in their roots and cells. Some of these chemicals are broken down by fungi in the soil and others are stored in the plant. So what about things like…smoke, that might be in your apartment via cigarettes. Or you know…other types of smoke. “Well I would say, they take up stuff in the atmosphere so theoretically they should take up any kind of smoke that’s in your apartment in a certain sense, right. I don’t really know, but I think if one did those tests that probably one would find a positive correlation with that.” Of all of the plants NASA mentioned in its study these three have the best surface area to chemical removal ratio. But keep in mind that a gerbera daisy will never get as big as a lady palm, and the more plant you have, the more harmful chemicals that you can remove. “ A big leaf plant is probably, potentially able to exchange more things with the air you know than something with little needle leaves.” And for those lacking a green thumb? “I’ll tell you, the one in there that’s probably the hardest to kill is the sansevieria, the mother in law’s tongue.” It scores high on removing chemicals and only needs low light. Hello everyone, if you’d like to learn more about the plants or the experiments done by NASA, check out the description below. You’ll find a more detailed account of which plants are mentioned at the beginning of the video. If you’re looking to buy some of these plants or want to learn how to take care of them, don’t forget to check out your local nursery.

Comments

  1. Is it safe to have house plants in bedroom considering During daylight hours, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis, and at night only about half that carbon is then released through respiration.

  2. Wait s minute, that dude is speculating things and Quartz is making it out like it is a fact?! The f***?!

    "I speculate the smell of my sh** is harmful to you"
    Quartz: "smelling sh** is harmful to your health – fact"

  3. What a lame professor. He tested different carcinogens but not the basic smoke i.e. present in homes. Loool

  4. if your a smoker no need for plants. a filter will get more many times faster. you would need a jungle in your house to get industrial amounts of toxcics. it is just an extra bonus when you have plants. just open your windows more often to circulate air. change furnace filters so air circulation is always good during winter.

  5. I did this study too at 11 with old people smoking in their rooms and they had really good air quality… My sansevieria is bringing another new leaf, all my African violets are blooming like crazy, I bought them with few broken leaves which nobody wanted to buy and I felt sorry for them. 😀

  6. I really want them in my house and had couple of houseplants before but THEY DIE TOO FAST! I GAVE UP.

  7. Edible plants also clean the air and you learn how to grow your own food and eat healthier. Why plant so many plants in and around our houses that are only decorative when you could also be producing most of your food and medicine?

  8. Yes, thats what I needed! More reasons to get more plants <3 IF YOU HAVE PETS AND OR CHILDRENCHECK IF YOUR WANTED PLANTS AREN'T HARMFUL TO THEM stay safe and have a nice day

  9. I've had those snake plants growing up like crazy in my yard…. I don't even know that was supposed to be an indoor plants….

  10. In my country, Sansiviera or Snake Plant is often referred as "Mother in Law's Tongue".. Lidah Mertua..

  11. yeah cut 100 years old trees and plant tiny plants in your house to clean your air … . what a disgusting way of living life 😀

  12. This video missed some pretty important distinctions…. For starters, that the plants studied and actually enabled 90%+ reductions had air circulating on their roots and activated carbon mixed into the medium.

    I recall someone mentioning fhat a potted plant would see 1/60th the effect of a hydroponic, airflow enabled, activated carbon-using plant. It might've even been Wolverton.

  13. "not some weird, tropical plant no one's ever heard about"
    me, someone born, raised and who currently live in a tropical country: hm

  14. It’s very difficult to read all the script in the video.
    Too quick , too many writings ,
    You need to put less text and run the video slowly

  15. So why are you all using a 30 year old source? You people at quartz could not find a more recent study? The amount of research and technology has improved drastically since then.

  16. هل اقتلع ابصال الليمرللس من الاصيص عندانتهاءالصيف واتركهابكيس مثقب لاوائل الصيف لازرعهامن جديد

  17. So this means that all the lists online of "the best air purifying houseplants" etc. are all based off of a NASA study that only looked at a small group of common houseplants. The list isnt definitive at all and I guess any large leaf plants would be effective; some inevitably more so then the ones listed.

  18. "I don't really know" "I guess if one tested" "Weird Tropical Plant"

    High quality science, y'all

    maybe… Just don't fill your house with smoke? Open your windows sometimes during the year and yeah have some plants, but know that the low quality air in your house is probably because the place wasn't well built, they didn't consider proper ventilation. I gotta say thk, the air outside is already polluted anyway so… There's not a lot of places on Earth to run away from the destruction of our planet.

  19. When I move into my new apartment in a couple months I’m getting a pet plant since I can’t have a cat 🌱 😭
    But this video helps me figure out what plant to get :0

  20. this video is really bad. there is no science or fact behind anything being said. using NASA as means of credibility doesn't make this video good. there were definitely no scientists used in the making of this video

  21. Im sure sanseveria is easy to kill if you water it daily, drowning it, and before you ask i do know people that water daily, consider them stupid for doing so.

  22. Get a peace lilly. I have them all and i have actual observations because i have different plants for different apartments. The faster the growth of a plant, the higher the volume of air it goes though, AND the oxygen production comes from the water you give to the plant, so more water > more oxygen. Unlike snake plants, you cant drown a peace lilly (my first plant)

  23. I'm sorry I thought this would be a little more concrete than a regurgitation of a Pinterest meme about how plants can basically cure you of all your ailments. I mean he wasn't even sure if they actually removed smoke, he HYPOTHESIZED a positive CORRELATION LOL LIke how vague is that statement. Get a grip.

  24. interesting
    He sounded like complete idiot like he didn't know what he was talking about or what you guys were planning to talk about it couldn't actually answer the questions articulately so much for NASA

  25. is there any info on how much is the oxygen conversion rate? so I can calculate how much plants needed to compensate for my breath, transportation, product use, etc.

  26. Ok but there are some huge caveats to these. Sanseveria dies with the slightest frosts. If you blow smoke directly onto your houseplants, they'll die. A multi-leveled plant system, for example with the daisies on the floor level and palms reaching height above them, is best for carcinogens that are kicked up from the ground as well as the carcinogens that come out through your vents (if you have smokers at your apt. complex).

  27. You can't purchase English Ivy in the United States. Customs irradiated the seeds I ordered on Amazon – they said they are an invasive species. 🙁

  28. Reasons to have a pothos:
    Cute greeny baby.
    Long green Tarzan's hangi hangers.
    Listens to Initial D while growing.
    Weeb levels of sunlight needed.
    Want more? Grab one of those hangi hangers and you have like 5 more pothos.
    Want even more? Repeat last process in 6 months and you will have Tarzan's dream home.
    Seriously if you mess up you shouldn't have anything else under your supervision.
    Please get a pothos, they are nice plants.

  29. this is not very informational and why not use actual pictures of the plants? i thought the english ivy was pothos lol

  30. Arielle Ray, you are the reason why journalists get crapped on for misreporting research studies and the data that comes from them. Please do better research on how to accurately report research data and research data conclusions. I hope you learn from this experience and improve for the future!!

  31. Good thing I have 7 house plants in my rather small room including Sansevieria Cylindrica, 2 Aloe Vera, Dracaena and a Chamaedorea Elegans 😀

  32. I love plants, but this is not based on sound research and science. More studies should be done before coming to a conclusion

  33. Why is a house plant common? Why was cabbage not the choice to test?

    Why are the plants chosen to be houseplants all toxic

  34. *So to be clear, if we just happened to legalize marijuana, and everyone in the USA grew at least one plant*…
    We can make 20 million trees become
    20 Million trees + 330 Million trees 😉

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