The wonderful thing about spring is that we’re now able to throw open our windows and doors and let in some much needed fresh air after such a long, cold winter. But, as we Canadians know, the time we’re able to enjoy open windows and doors is very short. That said, there is another great way to freshen our air when we can’t bring the fresh outdoors in, while adding beauty to our space as well.
Air purification in our homes and workspaces has become a going concern. Poor air quality and indoor pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. Stagnant indoor environments allow pollutants to build up and contaminate the air we breathe in amounts far greater than is healthy. Living and working in places rife with air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can cause “sick building syndrome,” which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation.
Scientifically proven: air purification in an easy, beautiful and long-lasting package!
To address this issue in our homes and offices, and presumably for anyone spending significant time confined to a space shuttle, NASA scientists have worked hard to come up with viable solutions to the problems associated with low air quality. Their innovative answer was not nearly as space-aged as you might expect, and it’s easy enough for any of us to implement: include houseplants in your decor and clean your air!
Given that we spend more than 90 percent of our time indoors so air quality matters! Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products in homes and offices can emit a variety of toxic compounds, like formaldehyde. Indoor air pollution can also be caused by pollen, bacteria, and molds, as outdoor air contaminants like car exhaust finds its way into buildings. It’s made all the worse in small or poorly-ventilated spaces.
Plants purify air, making them part of what NASA calls “nature’s life support system” and adding potted plants to a room has been shown to reduce the amount of air particulates. Plants absorb some of these particulates at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. There’s more: microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.
So, to help sort the houseplant options and to ensure you’re choosing those that will be of the most benefit, here is a list of the six best house plants to offer air purification for your home or office, any indoor space, quickly, consistently, and in a natural and beautiful package.
This was a NASA fave! Their research identified this plant to be numero uno in air-purifying power. It was found to be highly effective in removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air indoors. Once the blooms are done, they can be easily added to your outdoor garden so you can begin again. Effective at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene.
A superstar at filtering formaldehyde, these palms thrive in full sun or bright light. These plants can grow to be quite big – form four to 12 feet high – which allows them to filter significant amounts of air. Beautiful and unique in appearance, as well as easy to care for, in addition to formaldehyde, bamboo is also highly effective at filtering benzene and trichloroethylene.
The gerbera daisy was included in the early NASA studies (Biohome feasibility) and is extremely effective in removing chemical vapours such as benzene from the air. Benzene exposure has been linked with leukemia, and the chemical can enter your home from vehicle exhaust and fumes from glues, solvents, paints and art supplies.
It’s a beautiful flowers come in many different colours and its high transpiration rate and ability to cleanse the air of toxic gases make this a wonderful plant to have indoors.
Among the easiest houseplants to grow, the Spider plant makes for a terrific choice for beginners, forgetful owners or anyone who considers themselves a “black thumb” when it comes to keeping plants. Just keep in bright, indirect sunlight, and this gem will send out shoots with flowers that eventually grow into baby spider plants or spiderettes. These are effective at removing formaldehyde and xylene.
Peace lily plants are air purification powerhouses. They flower much of the summer and are easy to grow. They also have a lovely scent. They are effective at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Beware, however, if you have pets. The peace lily (also known as Mauna Loa) is toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of the peace lily or calla lily can cause irritation of the tongue and lips, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.
A gorgeous succulent and easy to care for this, the perfect natural pharmacist for a variety of serious health issues, is also highly effective at removing formaldehyde from the air. What makes this plant an even greater benefit to have on hand is that the leaves contain a clear liquid full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Looking for more easy air purification solutions? Click HERE for more info or come on in – we’re happy to help!