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10 Housplants that will Detoxify the Air in Your home

By Wesley Frazee on

bamboo palm.jpgDue to progressing advancements in home insulation, homes are achieving, essentially, a total  hermetic sealing, known as the "envelope effect". Subsequently, homes are effectively trapping air inside and eliminating regular circulation. Trapped indoor air is not necessarily healthy, as it is often filled with trace gasses from indoor synthetic materials and chemicals, and as a result indoor air pollution is becoming a widespread problem. In fact, it has been listed as one of the top five threats to public health.

Chemicals are released into the air within the home through a number of catalysts which are common to the home, (and often undetected as health threats) including upholstery, curtains, plywood, particle board, stains and varnished, paints, paper towels, tissues, carpets, permanent-press clothing, fabrics, construction materials, modern synthetic furniture, computers, electrical equipment, and other household products, synthetic materials and chemicals in, or around the home. 

As an unfortunate result, a condition known as Sick Building Syndrome is becoming more prevalent. Symptoms of SBS include allergies, asthma, irritations of the eyes, nose and throat, fatigue, headache, nervous system disorders, respiratory congestion and sinus congestion.

Fortunately, Indoor plants have the ability to naturally detoxify the air in the home. Studies run by NASA have proven that plants in the home can reduce up to 85% of indoor air pollutants, and as follows, indoor plants should be considered essential to any home or workplace.

There are many benefits to keeping plants inside the home, a few of which being:
  • The control of humidity within the home
  • Indoor detoxification and purification of the air.
  • A resultant cooling effect condition
  • The reduction of sound levels
  • The reduction of stress levels
  • A reduced reliance of chemical products

Based on criteria including the ease of growth and maintenance, the resistance to pests, and the efficiency at removing chemical vapors and affecting transpiration rates, the following is a list of ten of the most beneficial indoor plants in profile:

  1. Areca Palm, also known as Yellow Palm or Butterfly Palm, an Areca Palm releases moisture into the air, which regulate the indoor humidity. The plant is also rated consistently as one of the best indoor houseplants for removing indoor chemical toxins.
  2. Bamboo Palm has one of the highest transpiration ratings of all indoor plants, meaning it will release water vapor into the air, which is important during winter months when the air is often dry from heating systems. Bamboo Plant is also one of the best known plants for removing traces of benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde within the home.
  3. Boston Fern will require a degree of special attention - it must be watered and misted frequently. However, it is the best known plant at removing indoor air pollutants, in particularly formaldehyde. It is also the best known plant at adding humidity to the air through transpiration.
  4. Dracaena Janet Graig is a slow growing plant which can survive low light conditions, and is the one of the best known plants at removing trichloreoethylene in the home.
  5. Dwarf Date Palm surprisingly, is a tall plant. It grows very slowly, and in the right environment, can survive for decades. It is one of the best palms at removing indoor air pollutants, in particularly xylene.
  6. English Ivy is easy to grow, and is excellent at removing benzene from the air.            Note: English Ivy does not fair will in high temperatures.
  7. Ficus Alii is a large plant which grows very easily and has a high resistance to insects. It is great at removing toxins to purify the air.
  8. Lady Palm is one of the easiest indoor plants to care for. It grows slowly, is resistant to most insects, and is great at improving indoor air quality.
  9. Peace Lily has everything a great indoor plant should have. It helps to regulate the indoor humidity level through its high transpiration rate. It is also particularly great at removing alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air.
  10. Rubber Plant is over all an excellent plant for the home. It is a tough, easy to grow plant which can survive in little light. It has been tested to be the best of the ficus plants at removing indoor toxins, in particularly formaldehyde.
Other indoor plants not listed above which are excellent at purifying indoor air - removing Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Carbon Monixide - are the following:
  • Agloanema Modestum, or Chinese Evergreen
  • Gerbera Daisy, or Gerbera Jamesonii
  • Dracaena Marginata, or Marginata
  • Dracaena Massangeana, or Corn Plant
  • Sansevieria Laurentii, or Mother-in-Law's Tongue
  • Chrysantheium morifolium, or Pot Mum
  • Dracaena "warneckii, or Warneckii

(TIP: Ideally, for a house with the area of 1800 square feet (170 square meters,) 15 to 20 indoor plats are recommended)

For resources and further information, visit the following sites:

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