Today’s buildings have better building envelopes and are more efficiently insulated to help reduce energy usage. We also use more synthetic materials that emit harmful gases and chemicals into the air. The result is a well-sealed living/working space of unclean air that can lead to what is known as “Sick Building Syndrome.” Some of the most common indoor pollutants are:
- Formaldehyde: Commonly used in a number of items including particle board, pressed wood, foam insulation, cleaning products, and treated paper or fabric. If your home or office contains particle-board furniture, grocery bags, tissues, paper towels, or anything that has been treated to make it stiffer, wrinkle-resist, fire retardant, or water-repellent, then you’re likely to have formaldehyde in the air.
- Benzene: A solvent used in manufacturing paints, inks, plastics, rubber, dyes, pharmaceuticals, and detergents.
- Trichloroethane: Can be found in adhesives, varnishes, paints, and used in dry-cleaning.
Back in the 1980s, NASA did a study to look at which plants were best able to filter the air of the space station. Plant-filtered rooms absorb contaminants like the carcinogens listed above, and have 50% to 60% cent less airborne microbes, like mold spores and bacteria.
These are all popular house plants, easy to find and easy to maintain. Get rid of your fake plants which do nothing but collect dust and contaminate your living space. Harness our environment’s ability to clean the air naturally.
- English ivy (Hedera helix)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Golden pothos or Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
- Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
- Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata‘Laurentii’)
- Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn.Philodendron cordatum)
- Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn.Philodendron selloum)
- Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
- Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
- Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans ‘Massangeana’)
- Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’)
- Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)
- Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Gerbera daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Pot mum or florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
- Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)