The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done studies indicating that indoor air pollution is more of an issue than many of us think. We all know and understand that there are pollutants outside, but we often forget about all the indoor pollutants. The indoor pollution comes primarily from volatile organic chemicals (VOC) like formaldehyde that are present in building materials such as carpeting, paneling, cabinets, fabrics, etc. We can reduce the amount of indoor pollution with proper air filtration by an electronic air filter, by certain plants, or both.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has spent two decades researching plants that remove toxic chemicals from the air for use in space stations. The following five plants have been found to be particularly effective in clearing the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
Plants Effective at Clearing the Air of Volatile Organic Chemicals:
• Mass cane (Dracaena massangeana)
• Pot mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
• Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
• Warnecki (Dracaena deremensis "Warneckei")
• Ficus (Ficus benjamina)
Other plants that are effective at general air purification are as follows:
• English ivy (Hedera helix)
• Marginata (Dracaena marginata)
• Mother-in-laws tongue (Sansevieria laurentii)
• Peace lily (Spathiphyllum "Mauna Loa")
• Chinese Evergreen (Algona "silver queen")
• Banana (Musa oriana)
• Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
• Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)
• Green spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum)
• Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis)
Please know that not all plants are created equal. Some of these plants are poisonous when eaten, so please give special consideration to placement of these plants in your household.