Air pollution is most apparent in cities. But even our homes — no matter how far they are from the city — are often exposed to toxic chemicals that can affect our family’s health! These houseplants can help keep your home safe…
Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors — in offices and homes. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re breathing less toxic air.
In 1989, NASA (in association with Associated Landscape Contractors of America) made a study to determine the common houseplants that are most effective in purifying air from harmful chemicals. Since then, ongoing testing has shown all these plants to be very efficient at removing common airborne toxins from interior spaces.
So how toxic could the air in our houses be? Well, here are some of the chemicals which can be found in most homes:
Ammonia – present in most window cleaners and floor cleaners/waxes
Benzene – present in detergents, dyes, pesticides, furniture wax and some paints; also found in tobacco smoke
Formaldehyde – found in paper towels, paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, particle board, plywood and some synthetic fabrics
Trichloroethylene – present in paints, varnishes, adhesives, paint removers and printing inks
Xylene – found in printing, tobacco smoke and vehicle exhausts
Many of the soft and hard furnishings in your home also release toxins in a process known as off-gassing. For example, that beautiful new kitchen you just installed is probably a major culprit. And while it’s worse when things are new, off-gassing continues for years.
Many homeowners report symptoms such as dizziness, headache, confusion, coughing, irritation to nose and eyes and even an increase in heart rate, when they first move into a new home. While you and your family may not experience any noticeable symptoms of off-gassing, it is probably still happening unless you have been exceptionally careful in your materials selection.
Symptoms or no symptoms, we think it’s better to have at least a couple of these indoor plants in your home to help ensure clean and safe air for your family.
But take note that a number of the plants in this list are harmful to dogs, cats and other pets! If you’re a pet owner, please do further research on the effects of your chosen plants on your pets. 🙂
Because these plants are available all over the world, you may know them by a different common name so we have added the correct botanical name as well!
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Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)
Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Variegated Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum)
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Red-Edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
Lily Turf (Liriope spicata)
Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
Baberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Cornstalk Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’)
Devil’s Ivy / Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum)
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