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Sunday, August 14, 2022


Dr. Bill Wolverton of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Picayune has for two decades, researched the ability of plants to clean polluted water and air. He spent 19 years developing ways to recycle waste on the space agency's planned moon base. In the process, they went back to Earth's evolutionary process…back to plants. Back to an appreciation of green.
Through years of research the good doctor discovered that plants such as Dracena marginata, peace lily, and warnecrei filter the air of benzene and trichlorethlene. The philodendron, spider plant,
Golden pothos and corn plant absorb substantial amounts of formaldehyde.
Wolverton proved that our leafy friends combat "sick building syndrome"
by removing as much as 87% of toxic indoor air pollutants within 24 hours. Since everything from carpeting to grocery bags emit toxic chemicals, it is recommended a minimum of one potted plant per 100 square feet of home or office space. An 1,800 quare foot home would require 15 to 18 plants to help clean and refresh the air.
It appears Wolverton's message is beginning to make an impact. According to plant nursery owners and wholesalers countrywide, more and more people are moving away from artificial, silk plants because they want the positive side effects of air purification. They now tag certain plants as "air purifiers."
Editors' note: Kathie McCarthy is a local entrepreneur often called "Anti-Martha" by her friends. She owned Key Islander Nursery with her partner Jay Adair and supplied all the bougainvillea for a number of the large hotels in St. Thomas. She is also know as the "Bougi Lady."

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