Die "NASA Clean Air Study"

The NASA Clean Air Study

What do you do when you are outside the Earth's atmosphere and still want to breathe fresh air? NASA asked itself this question back in the 1980s.

The NASA Clean Air Study of 1989, led by Dr. Wolverton, therefore investigated the air purifying effects of houseplants. The aim was to find out whether plants are able to filter pollutants from the air and thus improve air quality in enclosed spaces.

The study tested different types of houseplants for their ability to reduce chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene.

The results were promising: many plant species showed a significant reduction in these pollutants, with some plants such as the ivy plant and the spider plant being particularly effective.

In addition, the study found that houseplants not only act as air filters, but can also regulate humidity and improve overall air quality. These findings have important implications for indoor air quality in living and working environments, as well as for the design of space concepts in space travel and other enclosed environments.

The NASA Clean Air Study laid the foundation for further research into the use of plants to purify the air and highlighted the importance of green elements for health and well-being indoors.

You can find the list of tested plants here . We offer a selection of these plants (which are particularly easy to care for and readily available) at AIRY.

Important: There has been and continues to be criticism of the NASA study. This relates to the fact that the tests were carried out in a laboratory environment and the plants were hanging freely in the air, for example. This is of course difficult to compare with use on a windowsill at home. The criticism is therefore understandable on this point.

An article in the magazine "Nature" therefore suggests the following:

"Future experiments should shift the focus from potted plants' (in)abilities to passively clean indoor air, and instead investigate VOC uptake mechanisms, alternative biofiltration technologies , biophilic productivity and well-being benefits, or negative impacts of other plant-sourced emissions, which must be assessed by rigorous field work accounting for important indoor processes."

This is exactly the suggestion that AIRY was developed: we built a biofilter that first captures the pollutants and is then continuously cleaned by the plant roots. In other words, the AIRY system is an air-purifying cycle that becomes even more effective over time as the plant grows.

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