In the late ’80s, NASA began conducting studies on plants that improve air quality in their Clean Air Study. While all plants do improve the quality of the air we breathe, there are some that are particularly effective.
Here are some common air-borne toxins that are typically found in homes:
Formaldehyde: A colourless gas that is present in many household products, linked to cancer and can cause irritation in the nose, eyes, and throat.
Xylene: A flammable and toxic liquid found in cleaning products
Benzene: A carcinogen chemical found in gasoline
Trichloroethylene: Found in many products that remove paint, stains, and wood finishers and has been found to harm the nervous system
Toluene: Found in nail polish remove, glue, and paint
Ammonia: Found in many cleaning products and is harmful to the body
These dangerous toxins are often hard to avoid, but plants do a marvelous job at naturally removing these from the air we breathe.
Check out these 5 low-maintenance houseplants that purify your air:
1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are known for their long, beautiful leaves and are one of the easiest houseplants to keep alive. They clean formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, xylene and toluene from the air, and are non-toxic for pets. This is a great plant for those with dust allergies. Keep in bright to medium indirect sunlight and water when the top 2 inches of the soil have dried out.
This popular houseplant is a natural humidifier for the home, which is great for those who have chronically dry skin or if you use an air conditioner. They remove xylene and formaldehyde from the air. Mist the leaves regularly, ensure the soil is moist. Boston ferns are non-toxic for pets!
3. Chinese Evergreen / Aglaonema
This low-maintenance plant grows well in lower light conditions and is very difficult to kill. They clean formaldehyde and benzene from the air, which is perfect for those using common household cleaning products.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a beautiful succulent that is known for the gel inside the leaves, which is used to soothe skin irritations and burns. At night, aloe vera produces oxygen to aid in improving the air quality of your home. They also remove benzene from the air. Avoid direct sunlight so the leaves don’t burn.
5. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Snake plants are known for their strong air purifying, and are difficult to kill! Their thick leaves are drought resistant, and remove carbon dioxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air.