Many of us consider air pollution to be smog or car emissions. True, these are the main outdoor air pollution factors but much more dangerous kind of air pollution is known as indoor air pollution. This is a more concentrated type of pollution that is caused by inadequate ventilation, toxic products, humidity, and high temperatures. Thankfully, today there are many indoor plants that clean the air and have proven themselves useful in maintaining a healthy environment.
In the following content, we will be discussing the countless causes of indoor pollution and the health benefits of the air-purifying indoor plants. Additionally, to make your choice easier, we will be presenting 15 indoor plants that clean the air, all NASA approved.
Why does indoor air quality matter?
Whether sleeping, relaxing or working in the office, we all spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. And that time spent inside keeps us exposed to indoor air pollution. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your environment well vented, chemicals-free and air-pure. There are plenty of daily routines you can do to keep your indoor air clean. From simply opening a window to cleaning the house more often or getting candles, salt lamps or indoor plants.
FAQ: Which are some of the most common causes of indoor air pollution?
Paint, pesticides, mold, bacteria and cleaning products are just some of the causes of indoor air pollution.
Causes of indoor air pollution
When you look at your living room walls or dining table, you probably don’t see them as pollutants or in any way dangerous. However, if the table is made of particleboard, it probably does emit gasses. Similarly, the paint on the walls is on the list of home or office items that may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like formaldehyde. Such levels can typically be two to five times higher inside than outside. In cases when ventilation is bad, or for people who may be highly sensitive, this type of pollution can make you feel sick.
In addition to this, here’s a list of items that can cause indoor air pollution:
- dry-cleaned clothing
- synthetic building materials
- cleaning products
- outdoor pollution that enters your home
Health benefits of air-purifying indoor plants
Indoor plants can improve your air quality however they cannot work their magic alone. Eliminating indoor air pollution sources is a must. Indoor plants can prevent or ease coughing and congestion, reduce irritation to eyes, ears, nose, and throat, boost your attention capacity and even lower your stress level. Purifying indoor plants have shown to reduce levels of CO2 and help get rid of stale air. Beyond improving air quality, plants just make people feel better, more focused and less stressed. Here are 15 indoor plants that clean the air and guard your health.
FAQ: Which are some of the best health benefits from indoor plants?
Purifying indoor plants reduce levels of CO2 and help get rid of stale air while taking up formaldehyde and similar toxic compounds. They also reduce stress and improve your general mood.
Areca Palm Tree
The Areca palm tree is the best air purifying plant according to the ratings from NASA’s research and has a high formaldehyde removal rate. The amazing Areca palm tree has the ability to maintain your office or home moist throughout dry periods and continually remove any chemical toxins from your air. Since during the winter season this plant is very effective at putting moisture back in the dried air, you can feel free to switch off your electric humidifiers.
The Lady palm is a house plant with the exact same rating as the Areca Palm tree in NASA’s research. This highly adaptable house plant can be stored in dry or moist parts of the home (between 20-100° Fahrenheit) and is particularly resistant to the majority sorts of plant insects. The Lady Palm will work hard to get out toxins such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde out of your indoor air.
This is a particularly attractive house plant that had shown to be effective at removing benzene – a cancerous compound sometimes found in the indoor air. Many tobacco products contain high levels of benzene, so if smoking is allowed in your household, it would be helpful to have one of these plants around. Do bear in mind that no house plant can ever eliminate the effects of tobacco smoke. Just remember to be careful with Chrysanthemum plant as it can be poisonous when ingested or when in prolonged skin contact.
Heart leaf philodendron
This climbing vine plant is not a smart option if you have kids or pets since it’s toxic when eaten, however, it’s crucial for removing all kinds of Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Philodendrons are particularly good at battling formaldehyde from sources such as particleboard. Heart leaf philodendron is a very low-maintenance plant. It thrives with indirect light and very little maintenance, so it can survive in any environment.
Snake Plants or Mother of Law Tongue
Snake house plants have shown to be incredible growers and extremely tough. They’re excellent at eliminating most toxins plus they are quite happy to grow in areas where other plants do not (for example, a hot window ledge). Also, they are great bathroom and darker area plants. This plant is the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues, and personal care products.
The bamboo palm is the third most powerful plant at removing formaldehyde from the air. It ranked third in the NASA experiment so it is a good all-rounder at keeping your indoor air clean. This house plant will grow best in a moist, but not wet, soil and in direct sunlight. However, this palm will require lots of room to grow, so it might not be the best option if want this plant to sit on your desk. You might want to plan a room corner as its living space.
Despite its name, this common household plant is native to tropical climates, which can make caring for it a bit difficult for most people. This plant needs a cool place with high humidity and indirect light and requires constant damp soil with a few applications of fertilizer per year. That can seem like a lot of attention, but if you’re willing to put in the work, the Boston fern is effective at filtering formaldehyde along with compounds such as xylene and benzene, two byproducts of automobile exhaust. You can plant it in a hanging pot for air filtration in rooms with exposed beams or vaulted ceilings. Just keep it at arm’s reach to prevent making daily care a chore.
FAQ: Is the Spider Plant good for indoor air pollution?
The answer is definitely yes. This plant is great at removing formaldehyde and xylene from the air, while it is very easy to look after.
Maybe the best thing about spider plants is their ability to survive the neglectful caretaking most of us are likely to provide. They need only moderate amounts of water and indirect sunlight, and they thrive in temperatures that are common in most indoor settings. The second-best thing about spider plants is that they are great at removing formaldehyde and xylene from the air. The small size makes them a great fit for your desk at work too. Plus, they’re non-toxic, making them ideal for homes with small children or pets.
This rubber house plant or Ficus robusta has been mentioned as one of the leading plants known to purify your home or office. This rubber house plant provides moisture, eliminates bio effluents, takes away volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde, as well as suppresses air-based microorganisms as soon as it’s put into a room. As time passes, this rubber plant will become much more skilled at eliminating toxic compounds present in the air. Bacteria within the rubber plants leaves to break up the toxins and feast on them. The procedure subsequently emits clean air into the surrounding environment. And since the plant grows, these microorganisms increase.
Janet Craig Dracaena
The Dracaena plant is especially effective in newly carpeted or newly furnished rooms were formaldehyde and xylene levels are at the highest. So if you are remodeling your home, leave a little space for a pot or two. This plant favors vibrant light, although not direct sunlight. Make sure to water completely throughout the seasons and allow the plants’ soil to dry out in between watering.
If the airflow in your environment has gone stagnant or dried out, the English ivy plant (also known as Hedera helix) may be just the solution. The English Ivy is also a house plant that provides a solution for allergic reactions in rooms where air-based mold was present. So, if you are suffering from allergies, asthma, or have the desire to inhale the cleaner and more fresh air, consider giving this English ivy plant a shot as your home or office companion.
Date Palm Tree
Although it does not position at the top of the purifying scale when compared to its three palm relatives, do not let this fool you. this Date palm house plant (also known as Phoenix roebelinii) remains an extremely efficient and stylish looking method to both cheer up the design of an area and reduce the content level of volatile organic compounds floating in the air. The Date house plant is very effective at getting rid of formaldehyde, thus working great in combination with other indoor air-filtering plants – it has the second-highest removal rate after the fern plant.
This ficus alii (also known as the Ficus macleilandii) isn’t as strong in its pollutant-removing effectiveness as the rubber plant. Although it remains an excellent addition to any kind of office or home wherever clear air is missing. This plant is not very difficult to look after but be careful to provide hand protection when dealing with the plant, especially for those who have allergic reactions to latex. The Ficus Aliii should not be placed near heating or air conditioning vents, or near drafts because this could cause leaf loss.
The Peace Lily (also known as Spathiphyllum sp.) is excellent for removing alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde, the Peace Lily also has a high transpiration rate to both purify and humidify indoor air. Its ribbed, glossy green leaves grow on stiff stalks that produce the characteristic white ‘flower,’ making it one of the few tropical plants that bloom indoors. It is a perfect air-purifying plant for those who don’t have “green fingers”. Peace Lilies are often found in malls because they are very easy to look after.
Aloe Vera was proven to be a lot more effective at the elimination of formaldehyde at lesser concentrations when compared with Philodendrons for example. This plant helps to remove harmful pollutants known as VOCs from the air, takes up carbon dioxide, and provides abundant oxygen back into the air around it. It’s a succulent, so it’s easy to maintain and doesn’t require much water at all. This plant is also famous as being a healing plant acknowledged for its therapeutic qualities, giving the most of its nicknames.
Having plants around the house is always a good idea – they create a wonderful ambiance, they reduce stress and clear the indoor stale air. There are many factors contributing to indoor air pollution, some obvious and some less obvious, but what is essential is what we are willing to do to deal with these factors. Hence, above we have seen the wonderful benefits provided by 15 NASA approved indoor plants that clean the air, and we hope that we made your decision on getting one of them easier. Nothing is more important than your own and your family’s health and wellbeing, so choose a plant you like and give it a new home.
Read more from our page: 10 Easy tips to protect yourself from air pollution and asthma at home