Top 10 Air-Freshening Plants For Your Home and Health

Household plants are not just good for decorating your home because now they have been shown to absorb potentially harmful gases and cleanse the air inside our homes.

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A 2 year study conducted by researchers of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, found that common household plants can help remove in-door air pollution. Some of the most common toxins found in the home include benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene - also known as the big bad 3!

Benzene, a commonly used solvent, also found in fuels, can be found in some household items like inks, oils, paints, plastics, tobacco smoke and pharmaceuticals. Some of the effects of Benzene on humans can lead to skin and eye irritation, dizziness, weakness, and headaches.

Formaldehyde, used as a preservative and curing agent can be found in pressed wood foam insulation, paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, carpet backing and cigarette smoke. Its effect can lead to respiratory problems, eye irritation, headaches and asthma.

Trichloroethylene, mostly a commercial product for industrial use can be found in dry cleaners, printing inks, varnishes and adhesives. Its most dangerous effect on humans can lead to be a potent carcinogenicity to the liver.

We probably come into contact with many of the sources of indoor pollution everyday. The prevalence of the big 3 pollutants can be attributed to the fact that modern-day homes have been designed to be highly insulated sealed environments. The synthetic materials that make up our homes give off toxic chemicals that build up because of a lack of ventilation.

To improve the air quality in your home the following ten plants were rated as most effective for removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air in our homes.

Common Name Scientific Name
Bamboo Palm Chamaedorea Seifritzii
Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema Modestum
English Ivy Hedera Helix
Gerbera Daisy Gerbera Jamesonii
Janet Craig Dracaena "Janet Craig"
Marginata Dracaena Marginata
Mass Cane/Corn Plant Dracaena Massangeana
Mother-in-Law's Tongue Sansevieria Laurentii
Pot Mum Chrysantheium morifolium
Peace Lily Spathiphyllum "Mauna Loa"
Warneckii Dracaena "Warneckii"

 

To learn more about using plants to purify the air in your home pick up the book "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office" by a NASA scientist, B. C. Wolverton. Based on 25 years of research by NASA, this book shows how common houseplants can combat sick building syndrome and cleanse the home or office of common pollutants.