Are you concerned about indoor pollutants, “sick building syndrome” or poor air quality? You might be surprised to learn that some houseplants have been found to absorb toxins like formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethelyne.
A number of undesirable health effects have been attributed to volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). VOCs are used in many substances found in the average home, including varnishes, paints, adhesives and building materials. These range from allergies to symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and malaise.
A study conducted jointly by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) discovered that common houseplants can be effective in reducing the levels of VOCs and other undesirable substances.
Some plants were found to be particularly effective in improving air quality. Far from being exotic and hard to obtain, these popular plants are easily available at your local nursery. The full list of plants tested by NASA and the ALCA is quite long, but here are the top ten toxin-busters.
- Bamboo palm. Tall, slim and elegant.
- Chinese evergreen. Very good for absorbing carbon monoxide.
- English ivy. Likes medium sunlight.
- Gerbera daisy. Colorful and easy to grow.
- Janet Craig dracaena. Unusual and striking.
- Marginata. A pretty variegated plant.
- Cornstalk dracaena. Tall and graceful
- Mother-in-law’s tongue. A classic houseplant with long spear-like leaves.
- Pot chrysantheium. Colorful and widely grown.
- Peace lily. A perpetual favorite with pretty white flowers.
- Warneck dracaena.
Other plants that are good for cleaning the air in your home are the heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens ‘oxycardium’), elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) and golden pothos (Epipiremnum aureum). Even the humble spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) was found to help lower toxin levels.
Other steps you can take to detoxify your home include installing electrostatic or HEPA (high particulate air) air filters and UV lamps in your ductwork system, and installing a whole-home ventilation system.
To find out more about how you can detoxify your home, contact the experts at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We can help with all your home comfort questions relating to HVAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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