Plants that Clean Pollutants out of the Air
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- Listing of Indoor Pollutants, their effects on our health and plants that are effective in reducing these pollutants
There is considerable scientific evidence of beneficial effects of plants in the interior environment.
Research by NASA and other organizations show that common house plants are powerful natural air cleaners. In laboratory studies, test plants removed as much as 87% of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours.
Plants absorb pollutants through their leaves, roots and the bacteria that live on them. They then convert these substances to food.
The major health and wellbeing benefits of interior plants include:
- cleaning pollutants out of the air / absorption of harmful substances
- filtration of dust and dirt from the environment
- producing oxygen and add humidity to the indoor environment
- dampening of sound levels
- cooling effect
- counteracting the common sick building disease
- enhancing the beauty of our homes and offices
- last, but not least: the very presence of plants has been shown to increase positive feelings and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, anger and sadness.
Distribution of Plants for Optimal Effectiveness:
Use one potted plant for ever 100 square feet. [Two or three plants per 10 square meters* (or 22.6 cubic meters with a standard ceiling).]
Although many plants like light, they do not all have to be placed near windows. These are ideal for the home and can be placed in darker corners. When positioning plants, try to strike a balance between light and ventilation because the effect of plants on indoor air pollution appears to be reduced if they are set in a draft.
Listing of Indoor Pollutants, their effects on our health and plants that are effective in reducing these pollutants:
|Pollutant||Possible Side Effect||Source||Pollution Fighter|
|Benzene||carcinogen, skin and eye irritant, headaches, loss of appetite, drowsiness, tiredness||Found in inks, oils, paints, plastics, rubber, dyes, detergents, gasoline, tobacco smoke, synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals||Plants that Dracaena Marginata, English Ivy, Janet Craig (fern), Warneckel, Peace Lily*, Chrysanthemum**, Gerbera Daisy|
|Formaldehyde||irritated eyes, nose, throat, headaches, contact dermatitis, and others||Found in Room deodorizers, carpets / carpet backing, permanent press clothing / fabric, foam insulation, plywood, pressed wood products, plastic grocery bags, wax paper, facial tissue, paper towels, water repellants, adhesive binders in floor coverings, cigarette smoke, natural gas, kerosene, new furniture made from pressed wood, resin-based particle boards, fiberboards, cabinets, countertops||Boston Fern, Aloe Vera, Chrysanthemum, Rubber Plants, Gerber Daisy**, Date Palm, Bamboo Palm, Azalea, Spider Plant, Golden Pothos, Dracaena Massangeana, Snake Plant, Philodendron aka Sweetheart Plant, Heart-leaf Philodendron, Parlor Ivy|
|Thrichloro-ethylene||potential for liver damage||Found in dry cleaning and in printing inks, paints, varnishes, lacquers, and adhesives||Peace Lily*, Dracaena Janet Craig, Dracaena Warnecki, Dracaena Marginata, Chrysanthemum**|
|Xylene||affects the brain; headaches, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, balance; skin / eye / nose / throat irritation; difficulty breathing; lung problems; delayed reaction time; memory difficulties; stomach discomfort; possibly changes in the liver and kidneys; unconsciousness; death||A solvent in paints and varnishes, used in the printing, rubber, and leather industries; certain types of pens, writing and drawing instruments, bingo dabbers and art supplies||Areca palm, Chrysalidocarpus, Lutescens, Dwarf date palm, Phoenix roebelenii, Bamboo palm, and others|
Ref.: Virginia.gov (adapted and added to)
**If you are sensitive to pollen, avoid chrysanthemum and daisy arrangements as they are ragweed relatives.
Research has shown that these plants are the most effective all-around in counteracting off-gassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity.
- Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)*
- Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
Please Note: The below is not a complete list, and there are no guarantees as to the accuracy of the information.
GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!