Plants that improve indoor air quality

It’s easy to see pollution in the air from vehicle exhausts, factories, and power plants. What’s not so easy to see, is air pollution in your home, and it may be even worse for your health. Luckily there’s a solution, and part of that is a group of common houseplants that will help scrub your air clean.

Toxic chemicals like trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene can come from a variety of common household sources such as cleaning products and your home itself. Effects of these chemicals range from simple throat irritation to headaches, asthma, and even cancer.

NASA studies, conducted by Dr. BC Wolverton, show that there are several species of plants that can significantly reduce the amount of these chemicals in your air. Since most of us spend upwards of 90% of our time indoors, and are likely not living in a LEED-rated house designed to have high indoor air quality, we’re taking in a plethora of harmful chemicals with each breath.

Good Magazine has released a helpful chart based on Dr. Wolverton’s work, showing common sources for the chemicals trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene. Also included is a list of the plants that are most effective at removing these chemicals from the air naturally, without an expensive air filtration system.

This information, as well as further details on many other plants that can remove additional chemicals from your air, is found in Dr. Wolverton’s book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.

Good Magazine, via Green Upgrader

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Steve holds a degree in Environmental Engineering Technology from Humber College in Toronto, is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor. He currently lives in Victoria BC and works as a green building consultant specializing in residential projects.


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