Plants are one of the most obvious good things that there can be, and certain plants are excellent at cleaning specific chemicals out of the air. We all know that plants clean the air, but what aspects of air they clean can change from plant to plant. Researchers tried to find which plants are best at cleaning gasoline vapour out of indoor air. Gasoline contains four chemical compounds which are also found in products that use volatile organic compounds (like fire retardent on a couch); so by studying which plants work best they can create an efficient plant based purifier.
The researchers and Ambius designed a Small Live Green Wall (SLGW) using indoor plants known for their phytoremediation abilities. Phytoremediation is the proper term for using plants to clean up contaminated soil, air and water is phytoremediation.
They tested nine SLGW systems, each containing devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum), arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum), and spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). A control was prepared that contained only potting mixture and no plants. The SLGWs were placed in sealed perspex chambers, exposed to volatile organic compounds, and then analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
If you’re looking for a simple list of what plants you can put inside today to start cleaning your indoor air then here you go:
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): Snake plants are excellent at removing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene from the air. They are known for their ability to thrive in low light conditions and require minimal maintenance.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.): Peace lilies are known for their beautiful white flowers and their ability to remove common indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. They prefer shady areas and moderate watering.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Golden Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a popular choice for indoor spaces. It is effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and carbon monoxide. It is an easy-to-care-for plant that can tolerate low light conditions.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): Boston ferns are known for their high transpiration rates, which helps to humidify the air and remove formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. They thrive in bright, indirect light and require consistent watering.
Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens): Areca palms are effective at removing formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. They are also known for their ability to add moisture to the environment. Areca palms prefer bright, indirect light and regular watering.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis): Aloe vera plants not only have medicinal properties but also help in purifying the air by removing formaldehyde and benzene. They prefer bright, indirect light and minimal watering.
Dracaena (Dracaena spp.): Dracaena plants come in various species like Dracaena marginata, Dracaena reflexa, and Dracaena fragrans. They can effectively remove formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene. Dracaenas thrive in moderate to bright indirect light conditions
Finding the source of Parkinson’s disease has been a challenge for many researchers and this year we’ve gotten a lot closer to figuring it out. There are multiple ways that one can get the neurodegenerative disease with no one factor being the deciding one. This year alone researchers have found common enzymes in people suffering from Parkinson’s and are in the process of generating faster detection methods for people so treatment can start earlier. Just this week it was revealed that a widely used chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE) has a strong association with people who have Parkinson’s- so much so that it looks like exposure to the chemical can actually cause the disease.
The report, published today in JAMA Neurology, involved examining the medical records of tens of thousands of Marine Corps and Navy veterans who trained at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1975 to 1985. Those exposed there to water heavily contaminated with TCE had a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease decades later compared with similar veterans who trained elsewhere. The Camp Lejeune contingent also had higher rates of symptoms such as erectile dysfunction and loss of smell that are early harbingers of Parkinson’s, which causes tremors; problems with moving, speaking, and balance; and in many cases dementia. Swallowing difficulties often lead to death from pneumonia.
Moms and dads both can take parental leave in the majority of countries around the world, and researchers have found in places that men take parental leave that the dads become less sexist. Turns out when dads are the primary caregiver for their children learn more about the gendered roles our society place on people. As dads get exposed to the realities of childrearing and other classic domestic duties they get more understanding. So if you’re thinking about becoming a parent make sure to take as much time as possible to be with your little one.
Research shows that sexist attitudes are deeply ingrained, with adverse consequences in the socioeconomic and political sphere. We argue that parental leave for fathers—a policy reform that disrupts traditional gender roles and promotes less stereotypical ones—has the power to decrease attitudinal gender bias. Contrasting the attitudes of new parents who were (and were not) directly affected by a real-world policy reform that tripled the amount of fathers’ leave, we provide causal evidence that the reform increased gender-egalitarian views in the socioeconomic and political domains among mothers and fathers, and raised support for pro-female policies that potentially displace men among mothers. In contrast, informational, indirect exposure to the reform among the general public produced no attitudinal change. These results show that direct exposure to progressive social policy can weaken sexist attitudes, providing governments with a practical and effective tool to reduce harmful biases.
Raising kids is a challenge, raising kids that are conscientious and caring is even harder. From new research it’s clear that taking kids to enjoy art will help them care more about the world around them and make them more generous. Art helps people of all ages experience awe and that’s the key to success. Awe can come from many things, but art is a good pathway and it’s easy to take kids to your local gallery.
To figure this out, the research team asked 159 volunteers aged 8 to 13 to watch short movie clips. Some of these clips were neutral, others cheerful, and others awe-inspiring. The researchers then asked the kids to determine how many items in a list of foods should be donated to a food drive for needy families. Alternately, the kids were given the option of donating their reward for participating in the study–a ticket to a local art museum–to a refugee family.
“Children who watched the awe-inspiring video chose to count 50 percent more items for the food drive than children who watched the joy-inspiring clip and more than twice as many items as children who watched the neutral clip. Children in the awe-inspiring condition were also 2 to 3 times more likely to donate their museum tickets than children in the joyful or neutral conditions,” reports the Association for Psychological Science blog.
Unions fought hard for a five day work week and now we need to fight for a four day work week. A global study of people who get a three day weekend from their job have better health and are happier. This is quite unsurprising to anyone who has enjoyed a three day weekend. For workplaces that have made shift to a four day work week they have also noticed an uptick in productivity. What are we waiting for?
“When people go on holiday, they’re changing their everyday responsibilities because they’re not locked down to their normal schedule,” Dr Ferguson says.
“In this study, we found that movement patterns changed for the better when on holiday, with increased physical activity and decreased sedentary behaviour observed across the board.
“We also found that people gained an extra 21 minutes of sleep each day they were on holiday, which can have a range of positive effects on our physical and mental health. For example, getting enough sleep can help improve our mood, cognitive function, and productivity. It can also help lower our risk of developing a range of health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
“Interestingly, the size of these changes increased in line with the length of the holiday – so the longer the holiday, the better the health benefits.”