Genetic modification to combat pollution?

In recent years, the scientific community has accelerated efforts to combat air pollution and poor air quality with every defense in its arsenal—after all, many cities across the world experience hazardous levels of pollution, and more cities join the list every day.

So, it’s no wonder scientists have taken to some extreme measures in hopes for a cure-all. To this end, researchers recently focused efforts on finding a solution to indoor pollution; indoor air quality is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. So, scientists at the University of Washington genetically modified a strain of the common houseplant Pothos Ivy to actively remove benzene and chloroform from the air in controlled lab settings. Benzene is a known carcinogen and is found in secondhand smoke; chloroform is a probable human carcinogen.

Pothos Ivy to actively remove benzene and chloroform from the air in controlled lab settings

The scientists modified the genetic makeup of the plant, introducing a protein that proved to absorb and degrade benzene and chloroform in the air in small amounts. While promising, the results are still a long way from providing large-scale relief…but have encouraged researchers to explore more genetic modification avenues to improve indoor air quality.

Currently, there is a simpler way to improve indoor air quality—the complete line of AeraMax Professional air purifiers removes up to 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants like allergens, bacteria, volatile organic compounds, germs and viruses from indoor spaces such as offices, labs and common areas. Using sophisticated four-stage True HEPA filtration systems, the purifiers automatically scan indoor settings and scrub the air when contaminants are present.