Houseplant Removes Toxic Chemicals From Air

Jan. 4, 2019
Researchers modify ivy plant to remove chloroform and benzene from air.

Researchers from the University of Washington have engineered a common house plant to remove dangerous pollutants from the air, compounds too small for HEPA air filters to trap, according to an article from Futurity. The genetically modified pothos ivy plants can reportedly rid air of chloroform and benzene, cancer-linked chemicals that can build up in the home.

According to Futurity, the house plants express a protein known as 2E1, which changes the hazardous compounds into molecules that the plants can then use to support their own growth. The researchers tested normal pothos ivy plants against their modified counterparts and saw a significant reduction in the concentration of chloroform and benzene among the modified plants. The National Science Foundation, Amazon Catalyst at UW and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded the research.

Read the entire article here.

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