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Eric Rothenberger

Remax Central

Keep Indoor Air Cleaner With Plants





Relaxing at home has many benefits, however, breathing healthful air may not be one of them. Common indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene, which are commonplace in many of the pesticides, personal care products and household cleansers we use, can cause headaches, irritate the eyes, nose and throat, have been linked to asthma, and can even cause allergic contact dermatitis.

Health experts recommend opening windows whenever possible in order to keep our homes well-ventilated. But, according to research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), cultivating certain indoor plants at home can be helpful, as they're capable of removing low levels of pollution,

In fact, studies conducted by these groups, using popular varieties of ornamental plants, confirmed that the plants’ effectiveness in removing key indoor air pollutants may offer an advantage over advanced-technology carbon filters alone, which remove pollutants from the air, but then require careful disposal.

Under some conditions, the research shows, live plants can effectively remove benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (undesirable products of burning tobacco and wood) from the air. Additionally, plant roots assisted by an activated carbon filter and a fan can remove air pollutants at higher concentrations.

The most effective air-cleaning plants include:

- Philodendrons, spider plants and golden pothos, best for removing formaldehyde molecules
- Flowering plants such as gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums, best for removing benzene.

Other plants effective for removing formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide from the air include:

- Chinese evergreen
- Bamboo palm
- English ivy
- Peace lily

Indoor gardeners should know that potted plants should be watered when the soil is fairly dry, as overly damp plant soil can promote the growth of unhealthy microorganisms.