Indoor air pollution often makes the air inside homes more unhealthy to breathe than air outdoors. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air can be two- to five-times more polluted than the air outdoors. The average American spends 90 percent of his time indoors. So nine out of ten breaths that you are taking might be heavily polluted indoor air.
Here are some short-term effects from poor indoor air:
- Eye, nose, throat irritation
- Memory impairment
- Visual disorders
In today’s growing world clean, fresh air is getting harder to come by. Due to booming populations and rapidly advancing technologies there is a lot of products on the market to help make fresh air. However, these products have repeatedly been found to contain chemicals linked to adverse health effects.
It is possible to clean indoor air using plants. In 1989, Nasa and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America investigated how to clean the air in space stations. The first list of air-filtering plants was compiled by NASA as part of the NASA Clean Air Study, which researched ways to clean air in space stations. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, as all plants do, these plants also eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, and/or trichloroethylene. NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.
Researcher Kamal Meattle discovered that three common houseplants, used strategically throughout a home, could vastly improve the indoor air quality.
- Areca Palm is “The Living Room Plant.” This plant is a daytime oxygen factory and Meattle recommends having 4 shoulder height plants per person.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is “The Bedroom Plant.” This plant is an evening oxygen factory and Meattle recommends having 6-8 waist-high plants per person.
- Money Plant is “The Specialist Plant.” This plant is the filter that removes formaldehyde and other volatile organic chemicals from the air.
In this video Kamal Meattle explains how this problem was approached in his native homeland of India, where air pollution is among the highest in the world.
26 House Plants That Detox The Air In Your Home Naturally
- Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
- Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)
- Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)*
- Lilyturf (Liriope spicata)
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)*
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)*
- Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum)*
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)*
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
- Variegated Snake Plant, mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)*
- Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)*
- Selloum Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)*
- Elephant Ear Philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)*
- Red-Edged Dracaena (Dracaena reflexa)*
- Cornstalk Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’)*
- Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)*
- Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)*
- Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)*
- Dendrobium Orchids (Dendrobium spp.)
- Dumb Canes (Dieffenbachia spp.)
- Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.)