Achieving better air quality in your homeJanuary 30, 2019
If you are concerned about achieving better air quality in your home by reducing the number of pollutants, you may well have been interested in the recent news of a genetically modified ‘rabbit plant’.
Created by splicing a gene from a rabbit into a plant called Devil’s Vine, the transgenic plant has been found to achieve a much greater reduction in benzene and chloroform than a genetically unmodified plant.
The discovery was made by three doctors at the University of Washington in Seattle who wanted to find a way to reduce these toxic organic compounds in indoor air.
Why reduce benzene and chloroform?
Benzene needs to be kept to safe levels in the home as it can cause a wide range of symptoms from dizziness and headaches to reproductive problems, cancer and even death, depending on the levels and duration of exposure.
Benzene in houses usually comes from using fuels such as wood and gas for area heating and cooking. It is also present in many construction and decorating materials, so new buildings or recently redecorated rooms can have high concentrations of benzene.
Chloroform can also be toxic but is not typically found at problematic levels in the home. That said, it cannot harm to find a way of reducing levels in your home.
So should you buy the rabbit plant?
With indoor air pollution accounting for at least 9,000 deaths per year in the UK, according to Allergy UK, it’s important to find solutions for reducing toxins in your home environment.
However, there are many concerns around genetic modification, particularly in regard to exploitation and harm to the animals used, effects on the wider environment and the ability to find alternative solutions to genetic engineering in the first place.
As there are plenty of electronic air purifiers designed for the home, which not only remove benzene but also a host of other indoor air pollutants, it would seem that technology is a better option than transgenics when it comes to creating a healthy home.
Tips on better air quality in your home
If you are interested in finding out about how to reduce allergens, irritants and pollutants in your home click here to see our article on this.
You will also find other articles on creating a healthy home and parenting with care by clicking here to see our blog.