It was in the year 1989 when NASA stated that indoor plants are capable of absorbing harmful toxins from the air in your room with little air circulation. The research also concluded that the microorganisms present in the soil of potted plants play a vital role in purifying indoor air.
Bill Wolverton who conducted the research work in 1989 said “The amount of leaf surface area influences the rate of air purification”.
According to him, it is not possible to estimate the number of plants that will be needed to clean a room full of pollutants. But it is recommended to use two good-sized plants per 100 square feet. The most effective plant for pulling out pollutants from the air is “The Boston Fern”. Wolverton suggested “The Golden Pothos” as his favorite because it is easy to grow and is popular.
Having plants in your room is always a great idea especially when they are keeping your indoor clean by being a constant supplier of oxygen.
Since the research held by NASA, there have been many questions and myths regarding “Do plants purify our air?” or “How much do they clean our air?”. Undoubtedly plants are capable of removing pollutants from the air but they do not totally clean the air. They can absorb VOCs (Volatile Organic Carbons) like benzene, octane, toluene, and trichloroethylene to some extent.
Though the size of a plant is an important factor there is a misconception, which states that the more the leaves, the more is the ability of a plant to purify the air. This was busted when leaves were removed from a plant to see its air-purifying ability but surprisingly it was seen that removing leaves enhanced the ability of plants to remove pollutants from the air. Further tests have finally concluded that the microbes present in the soil are responsible for removing pollutants from the air. They are more efficient than the plants themselves.
You can add houseplants to your home but they can’t have a major impact in purifying your indoor air or the quality of your air, until or unless you plant hundreds of them. This is not practical in any way. Even the microbes affect your air quality even if it is purifying it. So having one or two plants won’t make any difference.
Besides this electronic appliances and other home elements constantly emit pollutants. The emission rate is much higher than the plant’s removal rate.
All you can do is keep your windows open to allow fresh air into your home and minimize the use of air cleaners and fresheners. Fewer renovations and lowering the use of electronic appliances can help. Also, the usage of products sold in spray cans can be stopped.