Houseplants for cleaner air

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Houseplants can help clean the air in your homes as well as add some wonderful nature to your living space. Synthetic materials in your homes, such as carpeting, paint, adhesives, fabrics and wallpaper, give off fumes. As plants constantly take in air through the leaves, they act as natural air filters. All types of chemicals and compounds then move through the plant and exit through the roots. Bacteria and other microbes in the soil then digest or otherwise break these toxins down.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

With indoor air pollution such a common problem in today's world, even in the cleanest homes and offices, numerous synthetic toxins can be released from paints, carpeting, furniture, and even cleaning products. These can actually pose a great threat to our family's health.

One of the greenest ways to rid our home or office of indoor air pollutants is by placing various houseplants every 100 square feet to limit the benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene we are breathing in every day.

[edit] How does it affect me?

The very presence of plants has been shown to increase positive feelings and reduce feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness. It also helps dampen sound levels, reduce stress levels and keep the house cool. They also freshen the air by absorption of carbon dioxide and emission of oxygen.

[edit] All about houseplants for cleaner air

By maintaining plants at home you can remove a variety of toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene. Research has shown that house plants make people feel calmer and more optimistic, and hospital patients who face a window with a garden view are known to have recovered more quickly than those who had to look at a wall.

Even major corporations have found that adding plants indoors does wonders for employee health and morale.

[edit] Top 10 household plants for cleaner air

[edit] Kentia Palm (Howea fosterania)

One of the most popular and graceful palms, it is ideal for the indoor environment as it releases copious amounts of moisture into the air and removes chemical toxins, and is also beautiful to look at. Works best when kept is semi shade.

[edit] Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera delicosa)

This is especially effective for humid air conditioned interiors and are fast growing houseplant with good all round air cleaning properties

[edit] Zamioculcas zamifolia

Its affinity with modern design is making Zamioculcas popular in offices by interior landscapers. Each of the branches coming from the compost is actually a leaf and the ' leaves' are leaflets coming of them. Ideal for a semi shady room.

[edit] Philodendron

Very tolerant of shady conditions and can make a stunning architectural statement in a darkish situation. In a NASA study they were shown to be particularly effective in removing formaldehyde molecules as well as other toxins

[edit] Miniature Date Palm (Phoenix roebelinii)

This palm is a slow grower and usually reaches a maximum height of 5 to 6 ½ ft, but can survive for decades and is one of the best palms for removing indoor air pollutants.

[edit] Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The peace lily should always be included when seeking a variety of indoor plants and excels in the removal of alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Its ability to remove air pollutants and its excellent performance in all categories make it a most valuable houseplant. This plant can be kept best in mid-light to shade.

[edit] Dracaena fragrans"Janet Craig"

With dark green leaves, it is one of the best plants for removing trichloreoethylene. These plants grow beautifully in dimly lit environments.

[edit] Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata)

Boston Fern is best displayed in a hanging basked or sitting upon a pedestal. It requires a certain amount of attention and must have frequent misting and watering otherwise the leaves quickly turn brown. It is the best for removing air pollutants, especially formaldehyde, and for adding humidity to the indoor environment. This plant can be kept best in semi-sun to shade.

[edit] Ficus Alii

This new ornamental fig is rapidly gaining in popularity because its slender dark green leaves make it appealing both to the interior plantscape industry and to the home market. It purifies the air and is insect resistant. This plant can be kept best in full sun and semi-sun.

[edit] Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Grows magnificently in dim light and cool temperatures and is especially effective at removing formaldehyde.

[edit] Unlearn

However all indoor plants are not helpful. To protect our children, we need to know that there are some plants which are poisonous and keep them out of their reach. Plants are considered poisonous or toxic when they cause some type of problem or reactions, ranging from a mild stomachache, skin rash, and burning or swelling of the mouth and throat to severe vomiting and diarrhea, involvement of the liver, heart, kidneys, other organs, and coma. To determine whether or not your houseplant is toxic or not, take a piece of the plant to a plant nursery for identification.

[edit] References:

  • Houseplants for Cleaner Air
  • The Top 10 Houseplants for Filtering Indoor Air