Italian style meets better air quality

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “4.3 million people a year die from the exposure to household air pollution.” While the use of solid fuels in the developing world, for cooking in the home, significantly contributes to the overall number of deaths, there are still major concerns about adequate indoor ventilation worldwide.

Prolonged exposure to air pollution can lead to diseases such as chronic respiratory conditions like pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, stroke and cataract. The WHO have also reported evidence linking air pollution with “adverse pregnancy outcomes, tuberculosis, upper aero-digestive tract, cervical and other cancers.”

Potential pollutants in your home

Medical professionals have long warned about prolonged exposure to the following pollutants and their effects on human health:

  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Chemical cleaning products
  • Pesticides
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Radon (“number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers”)
  • Some building materials such as asbestos, lead and formaldehyde

A stylish solution

A project gathering supporters on Kickstarter approaches the issue of combating indoor air pollution through stylish and smart design.
A team of industrial designers and engineers have come up with a sleek-looking flowerpot that doubles as a super-efficient bio filter, said to climate 93% of indoor air pollutants.

The Clairy is an Italian designed, eco-friendly ceramic pot that can send you air pollution analysis through to your smart phone.

“Inside the larger flowerpot, a technology unit combined to a fan directs the air from inside your home to the roots of the plant to be detoxified. Indoor air quality, temperature and humidity sensors continually test the quality of your air. From there, the built-in Wi-Fi module sends real-time updates to your smartphone.”

The creators say they were inspired to create the Clairy when they came across NASA and the ALCA’s Clean Air Study, listing list of common indoor plants that clean the air by removing toxic agents (see Indoor plants to clear your air for further details). The key is in the root system of these plants, where the plant breaks down toxic agents. Enter their smart design that accesses the roots more readily than your standard pot.


“Clairy combines the power of nature and technology with the beauty of design to eliminate indoor pollution and analyze it.” Clairy on Kickstarter

Climate change may be a lot worse than we all thought

Global warming could be far worse than we initially thought after a dramatic rethinking of the role that clouds play.

Researchers, writing in the journal Science, say a doubling of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere could see global temperature rise by up to 5.3C – far warmer than the 4.6C older models predict.

The researchers, led by Yale University, analysed satellite data and found that clouds have much more liquid in them than ice – which has been assumed until now.

Clouds with ice crystals reflect solar light stopping it reaching and heating the Earth’s surface, liquid cannot do the same job.

Increased carbon dioxide will also stop clouds from changing to a heat reflecting state in the future, researchers say. If so it will be far harder for countries to keep to their promise of keeping global warming below 2C as agreed at the Paris climate summit last year.