Air pollution can cause a variety of health problems such as asthma, cancer, and even heart disease. We often hear about the dangers of outdoor air pollution that are caused by factories, automobiles, power plants, and incinerators. It’s less often that we hear about the real dangers of indoor air pollution.
Bringing potted plants into a living space to liven it up is a trick that’s been used by interior designers for years, but did you know that our leafy friends are also powerful filters that purify the air around us? In fact, several studies have been conducted showing that individual plants can rid a room of up to 89 percent of harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene.
How Do Indoor Plants Clean the Air?
Plants absorb air-polluting organic and inorganic chemicals and break them down into compounds that the plant can use for energy. In turn, we get to breathe in the clean air that the plants provide for us – all we must do is make sure the plants receive enough water and sunlight for survival If you think about the prices of some of those fancy air filtration systems out there, it’s a bit surprising that more of us don’t just purchase some plants instead. So, we made a list of some of the best indoor plants for cleaner air.
Peace lilies are easy to care for and very resilient, making them especially popular with those who don’t necessarily have a green thumb. The plant can grow to about 16 inches and produce lovely white blooms. Peace lilies can help reduce toxins such as benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, acetone, xylene, ethyl acetate, and trichloroethylene.
Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (really, could they have thought of a better nickname?) is a very popular house plant that can be used outdoors in areas without direct sunlight. It’s native to West Africa and, with its upright leaves, has a lot of architectural interest making it a popular choice for contemporary homes. Snake plant is a very useful indoor air cleaner removing ammonia, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide
Gorgeous Gerbera daisies not only cheer up your home but do it some good too. Gerbera daisies are rare plants in that they also release oxygen during the night, so keep them in the bedroom for restful sleep. They need sun and water as soon as the dirt in the pot dries out. Gerbera daisies rid the air of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
The bamboo palm is another popular purifying houseplant due to its tropical look and insect-repelling quality. This plant also packs a big punch when it comes to purifying the air. The bamboo palm can remove substances like benzene, formaldehyde, chloroform, carbon monoxide, and xylene.
Not only is the aloe plant wonderful to have on hand in wound-or burn-healing emergencies. The gel within each leaf contains a mixture of amino acids, vitamins, and enzymes with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits. While the plant itself filters formaldehyde from the air.
Not only will you love the sweet and plentiful fruit yielded from a healthy ficus benjamina (or weeping fig) the plant needs infrequent watering and indirect sunlight, which means that its relatively low maintenance. Bring it inside during the colder months to decrease pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde from indoor spaces and move it outside in the warmer months where it will thrive and grow to heights up to 6-feet!