Protective Plants

Indoor Greenery Removes Airborne Toxins




antpkr/Shutterstock.com

Along with naturally beautifying a home, many indoor plants help purify air quality often contaminated by chemicals found in common household products and furnishings. A recent study by the State University of New York at Oswego found that bromeliads absorbed up to 80 percent of pollutants from volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted by paint, furniture, printers, dry-cleaned clothes and other household products. Other plants that scored highly for purifying the air of VOCs in airtight container tests were dracaena and spider plants (ScienceAlert.com). In related news, peace lilies have been shown to be effective in reducing airborne ammonia.

NASA scientists have discovered that Boston fern, rubber plants, English ivy, devil’s ivy, peace lily, mum and gerbera daisies help clear the air of the formaldehyde often used in insulation, carpeting and particleboard furniture. (RodalesOrganicLife.com)

Environmental scientist B.C. Wolverton’s book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office cites ferns as another good plant for removing formaldehyde from the home. Ferns are nontoxic, making them good indoor plants for pet owners per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Indoor levels of formaldehyde can also be reduced by potting areca palm, amstel king ficus and weeping fig plants, according to MotherEarthLiving.com. The website also cites how dragon tree plants can help remove xylene (used in solvents), trichloroethylene (found primarily in adhesives) and toluene (a solvent and gasoline additive) from the air.

Beyond improving air quality, indoor plants also boost ambient oxygen levels, lower mold counts and serve as a natural humidifier and mood enhancer.


This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Welcome Autumn with Wild Orange Essential Oil

Wild orange essential oil may support healthy immune function. Add a drop to water for a burst of flavor and to promote overall health.

Natural Living Expo Expands at New Location

The third annual Natural Living & Holistic Exposition of Pennsylvania, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., October 20, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 21, at the Spooky Nook Entertainment Complex, located at 75 Champ Boulevard, in Lancaster.

Expos Urge Women to Take a Day to Indulge Themselves

The sixth annual Lebanon County Women’s Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., October 6, at the Lebanon Expo Center. The seventh annual Cumberland County Women’s Expo will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., November 10, at the Carlisle Expo Center.

The Happiness Game Changers

Even when faced with an imperfect, hostile world, happiness is still possible. Changed practices and habits will change outcomes and results.

Man Plan, God Laugh

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Or, as my spiritual friends remind me, “Man plan, God laugh.”

Add your comment: