Russian and American space scientists have been working for years with so-called 'biological air cleaners' for use in space ships. These are plants with a high absorption capacity for organic gaseous pollution that is normal in modern interiors, such as vapourfrom organic solvents and formaldehyde.
Larger plants that do this are ivy (Hedera helix), the fig plant (Ficus pumila), devil's ivy (Scindapsus aureus) and the tri-leaf philodendron (Philodendron spp.). Some potted plants such as the peace lily (Spati-phyllum) and the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) do the same. The air cleaning properties vary, and are also dependent upon the leaf area (see Figure 15.17 and Table 15.6).
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