Indoor plants are not only valuable for their beauty. They can also help improve air quality, both at home and in the workplace, acting as natural filters and improving overall health. They can help in the workplace battle against sick building syndrome and minimize exposure to chemical irritants.
You may not notice any particularly harmful odors in your home, or strong odors dissipate quickly. However, dangerous chemicals may still be lurking, posing potential health threats over time and aggravating any existing problems like asthma or migraines.
Some toxins that can be absorbed by indoor plants include the following:
-Carbon monoxide comes from tobacco smoke, gas appliances, and cars.
-The tobacco smoke emits formaldehyde (chemical compound), building materials such as particle boards and plywood, new textiles such as carpets and curtains.
-Ammonia is a by-product of cleaning products, animal waste, charcoal or wood furnaces, fertilizers.
-Xylene is free from paints, adhesives, permanent markers and secondhand smoke.
-Toluene leaks into the air in adhesives, nail products, stains, cleaners, synthetic fragrances, and tobacco smoke.
-Eltricoroethylene comes from the manufacturing process of dyes, soaps, perfumes, stain removers and typewriter correction fluid.
-Benzene emits building materials, tobacco smoke, heating oil without ventilation, and fumes from an attached garage.
Indoor plants can improve the air quality in any room in your home or workspace. Here are fifteen of the most effective and easy-to-maintain plants. Remember, if your pet or child loves to try new plants, many can be dangerous for them, and therefore should be as inaccessible as possible.
15 INDOOR PLANTS THAT CLEAN THE AIR
Bamboo or Cane Palm Plant - A beautiful floor plant that can grow up to 12 feet tall and filters out contaminants like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. This houseplant loves a sunny location and high humidity.
Areca palm: a superstar to remove toxins from the air.
Lady Palm - A houseplant that enjoys cooler temperatures and is helpful in removing toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and toluene.
Dwarf Palmeradatilera: an excellent air freshener that helps remove xylene.
English Ivy - Great for hanging or on a table, this ivy is suited to shade or sun and likes lots of water and well-drained soil. It is an excellent air freshener and filters carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, trichlorethylene and even destroys some mold spores from the air.
Devil's Ivy - This popular houseplant is hardy and low-maintenance, likes humidity and indirect sunlight. Improves lung health by cleaning ozone and removing carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.
This popular and easy-to-grow plant loves poorly lit areas. Only water once a week. It is an excellent air purifier and removes many toxins, such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and benzene. Due to toxicity, do not buy anything if you have a cat and wash your hands after handling it.
Flamenco Lily: This plant loves a more humid climate and lots of indirect sunlight. NASA's Clean Air Study showed that this plant is extremely useful in filtering formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, and xylene from the air.
Emerald-red philodendron: It is one of the most common indoor plants. They require little attention, they will thrive in natural or artificial lighting with irrigation once a week. This houseplant is a versatile air purifier that removes almost all indoor toxins.
Elephant Ear Philodendron: The large leaves of this philodendron are especially adept at removing formaldehyde from any space.
Boston Fern - This is a classic for hanging or a pedestal. Give them plenty of indirect light, keep them moist and mist periodically. The plant removes xylene and formaldehyde emissions from its space.
Queen Kimberley Fern - This fern not only improves air quality by removing harmful formaldehyde and benzene but also acts as a natural humidifier. Native to Australia, with its wide fronds and palm trees, it can grow quite tall. It requires little care beyond constant humidity and perhaps some fertilizer during the summer months.
6. DESERPIENT PLANT, OR MOTHER'S TONGUE
This common indoor plant is excellent for beginners as it will grow almost anywhere with little care. They can become quite tall and showy in appearance. Allow the succulent to dry out between waterings.
A NASA study revealed that snake plants remove a large number of pollutants, including formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, trichlorethylene and nitrogen oxide, which can be emitted through gas-burning appliances and tobacco smoke.
These fall favorites are enjoyed for their varied and colorful flowers. As a houseplant, they need to be in a sunny location and kept moist to maximize flowering.
The flowers themselves are the air filters for this plant. They remove many airborne toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, benzene, toluene, and trichlorethylene.
8. DRACAENA, CORN OPLANTA
This easy beginner plant can be found in a variety of brands and sizes. Some types even produce tiny white flowers once mature. Plants thrive in indirect light with high humidity.
Dracaena helps remove formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, and trichlorethylene from the surrounding air. The plants can grow quite tall and are an excellent choice for a smoker's space.
These bright and cheerful blooming plants are great for boosting mood and cleaner air. They like lots of sunlight and well-drained soil. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
These annual plants help remove formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, benzene, and almost any other toxin from your space.
Spider plants are one of the easiest indoor plants, known for their long, striped leaves. They like lots of indirect light and work well as hanging, pedestal, or tabletop plants.
Spider plants are excellent filters for carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde and xylene. They greatly improve air quality.
This popular Asian houseplant enjoys plenty of indirect light, but can burn in direct sunlight. Let the soil dry out between waterings to avoid drying, but do not leave it dry for long periods. This plant loves hot and humid climates and can grow up to 3 meters in height. Ficus is poisonous to pets and can trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
The NASA Clean Air Study found that ficus is useful for cleaning dehyde, xylene and toluene in the air from the surrounding air.
12. DRAGON TREE
They are one of the easiest indoor plants to maintain. They can recover from a great deal of negligence. They can grow to over 1 meter and a half in height over time, with variations in leaf color from green to purple. Plants like lots of indirect light, but they can still thrive in low-light environments, making them ideal for office use. Let the soil dry well between waterings.
Dragon trees filter xylene and trichlorethylene, proven causes of breast cancer, as well as formaldehyde, from the air.
13. ALOE VERA
Aloe vera is truly a superstar among indoor plants. The plant is a natural remedy for various skin injuries and ailments, including sunburn. Provides healthy oxygen to the air for better air quality and a good night's sleep. This succulent likes well-drained soil and lots of indirect natural or artificial light. It requires little watering, especially during winter. Although it is not toxic to humans, the plant is not yet safe for pets.
Aloe vera removes formaldehyde from the air and turns brown if contamination is extreme. It also removes benzene emissions from chemical-based cleaners and paints.
Another species of Ficus, these native Indians are great for beginners. Hardy plants thrive in bright but filtered light, with watering once a week in summer and every two weeks in winter. They can get large, depending on the size of the pot.
Rubber plants are effective in removing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and trichlorethylene, improving air quality.
15. CHINESE GINGER
Chinese evergreens come in many variegated leaf varieties and are easy to care for. They grow one to two feet tall in low to medium light. Also, you only need to fertilize them a couple of times a year. These plants have been shown to be effective against formaldehyde and xylene toxicity in the home or workplace.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON AIR QUALITY PURIFICATION WITH INDOOR PLANTS
Many toxic compounds found in homes and workplaces have been shown to contribute to symptoms such as headaches, respiratory conditions, and allergies.
The accumulation of these toxins and other particles can develop into a condition known as "sick house" or "sick building syndrome."
Toxin-absorbing plants have been shown to be an effective way to decrease or remove these dangerous chemicals from the air and contribute to better overall health and a more productive lifestyle. Even if you don't have a green thumb, it may be worth bringing some of these beneficial and beautiful plants into your living and working area.