Plants kept in our homes are probably the best inside air cleaners. However, some of them are far more effective and useful than others when it comes to filtering out toxins and air pollutants.
NASA conducted research looking for the best way of cleaning the air in their space stations. They have found several plants being useful in the removal of toxic chemicals and substances such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia and xylene, all of them being connected to specific health effects such as headaches and eye irritation.
Below, you can see the plants that are most useful natural air purifiers.
Ficus or Ficus elastica
The Ficus elastica is an excellent plant, and it is quite easy to grow and maintain, as it doesn’t require too much light. This plant has extreme effectiveness when it comes to removing formaldehyde from the air. But, you have to remember that its leaves may be poisonous, so keep your small children or pets away from it.
English Ivy or Hedera helix
This is another excellent and popular houseplant which will filter some airborne toxins in your home. Moreover, it is quite capable when it comes to clearing the air from benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. It can also remove more than 58% feces particles or even 60% of air toxins, in six hours only.
Snake plant or Sansevieria trifasciata
The third houseplant is snake plant which is best known for improving the quality of the air indoors. As NASA states, this plant is probably the best one for absorbing some airborne toxins, which include nitrogen oxide, xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and even trichloroethylene.
Moreover, this houseplant is quite resistant, so just a small amount is needed so it can stay healthy. Despite its ability to remove toxins, the snake plant will also be useful to keep it in your bedroom as it can produce oxygen during the night.
Spider plant or Chlorophytum comosum
This plant can stay healthy even when there is just minimal light present. It can also absorb toxins from the air like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, styrene and also gasoline. Just one such plant may effectively purify the air in the space of about 200 square feet.
Peace Lily or Spathiphyllum
When removing toxins and chemicals present in the air, the Peace Lily is an excellent plant. It is herb which filters toluene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene, and even ammonia. There is one principle downside of the Peace Lily, and it is that ingesting some part of it can be mildly toxic. After you ingest some part, you can feel nauseous, or experience some difficulties in swallowing, and even feel a kind of burning sensation in the skin or mouth. When such symptoms appear, you should opt for medical help right after you start feeling them.
As NASA suggests, you should keep somewhere from 15 to 18 plants, in a 500 square feet area, which means 3 or 4 plants will be enough for a smaller home. Also, remember to place one plant in the bedroom as you spend half of your time in it too.
Sources: NASA Clean Air Study
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