Scientists Designed a Little Plant That Can Reduce the Toxins in Your Home by 85%

April 20, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

Clairy, the air-filtering plant
Photo credit: Screen grab from Clairy Kickstarter video

Yes please.

Meet Clairy — a cute little house plant that has a very important job despite its small size: sucking the toxins out of the air you breathe in your home.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to indoor air pollutants can lead to a number of short-term medical issues, like headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. However, the effects of being exposed to air pollutants can be experienced even years later — long-term exposure can result in heart disease, respiratory disease, or cancer.

The indoor toxins can come from pretty much anywhere in our homes. They hide in paints, furniture, carpets, plastic toys, cleaning agents, and the list goes on.

SEE ALSO: New Ultra-Thin Sensor Can Detect Tiny Amounts of Harmful Air Pollution in Your Home

NASA decided to take matters into its own hands with its Clean Air Study, and found that certain house plants were particularly effective at eliminating pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

By building on this NASA study, the creators of Clairy selected the plant breeds that have been proven to eliminate toxins, but a plant on its own isn’t enough to significantly impact the amount of pollutants in the air. To solve the problem, Clairy creators decided to design handmade pots with a built-in fan, so air gets pushed through the soil and filters out into the pollutant-ridden air of your home.

Species of plants available from Clairy
Species of plants available from Clairy

The varieties of plants available from Clairy. Screenshot from their Kickstarter page.

Paolo Ganis, the co-founder and CEO of Clairy, told Tech Insider’s Danielle Muoio, "We really think the air we breathe is very important — that's why we want to monitor it and actively eliminate toxic agents. Indoor pollution is a big problem."

Impressively, a study done by Pnat — “an emerging think tank of designers and biologists aiming at merging plants research, science and creativity,” according to the organization’s website — found that Clairy reduced the amount of toxins in the air by 85 percent on average.

What’s more, when the researchers replaced commercial soil with a soil that the company is currently researching, that number increased to 93 percent.

Additionally, Clairy is equipped with smart sensors so you can track how effectively the plant is eliminating the toxins in your home in real-time.

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Clairy was created very recently in July 2015, but the plant has already garnered a lot of interest. It was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and Clairy has also raised more than $230,000 on Kickstarter, surpassing its goal of about $100,000.

Ganis says that the company has generated interest with producers of ceramic pots, and it’s also talking with investors about how to keep the momentum going. When Clairy hits the market in January 2017, the plants will sell for $199, and early backers will receive their plants as soon as December 2016.

"The best thing I think is we have a green spirit," Ganis told Tech Insider. "People can understand that you can get the same results with products that are helped by nature."

While the polluted air outside is a whole ‘nother issue to tackle, it doesn’t have to be as hard to make sure the air inside your home is safe to breathe.

Check out Clairy’s campaign video below.


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