Written by: Jann21
Breathing polluted air is not okay. Lung diseases, dizziness, and nausea that you experience are probably caused by the polluted air which you inhale. Breathing polluted air regularly may lead to severe health complications such as cancer. If you’re living in a place right now where the air is always dirty, then you are at risk.
Polluted air is everywhere in the urban. Cars, factories, and other city establishments produce pollutants that may cause various sicknesses. You are breathing polluted air whether you’re at school or office. Even at home, you’re not safe from polluted air. Pollutants accumulate quickly in enclosed spaces such as bedrooms, living rooms and other places in the house that have poor ventilation. U.S Environmental Protection Agency states that indoor pollution ranks number 5 among things that threaten public health.
Still, don’t be worried because you may fight indoor air pollution using air-purifying plants. Read further if you want to know what they are.
What Are Air Purifying Plants?
The study conducted by NASA in 1989 showed that indoor plants that they were experimenting on have the capability to neutralize common air pollutants such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia. Viewed in this manner, air purifying plants are plants that have the capability to remove air pollutants in the air and make the air more breathable.
It’s important that you know the sources and effects of common air pollutants.
Before we move on, it’s important that you know the sources and effects of common air pollutants such as trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia. To start, trichloroethylene comes from printer inks, paints, and varnishes. Dizziness, nausea, and headache are some health problems caused by trichloroethylene.
Formaldehyde is an air pollutant that comes from commercial materials such as facial tissues, plywood paneling, synthetic fibers, wax bags, and paper bags. This pollutant has high concentrations in industrial and commercial areas. Health problems associated with it are irritation of the throat, nose, and mouth. Sometimes, it may also cause swelling of the larynx and lungs in severe cases.
Plastics, fibers, lubricants drugs, and pesticides are common sources of benzene. This may also come from vehicle exhausts, tobacco smoke, and paint. Factories, farms, and roads have high concentrations of this air pollutant. Regular exposure to benzene results in eye irritation, drowsiness, an increase in heart rate and in severe cases unconsciousness.
Xylene mostly comes from leather and paint industries. Health problems associated with this are irritation to mouth and throat, dizziness, headache, heart problems, liver damage, and coma. Last is ammonia. this is an air pollutant that comes from window cleaners, floor waxes, and fertilizers. Complications caused by ammonia are eye irritation, coughing, and sore throat.
Now that you know the meaning of air-purifying plants and what pollutants that they neutralize, it’s time that we talk about how they do their magic!
What Do Air Purifying Plants Do?
The main function of air-purifying plants is to make cleaner air by removing pollutants present in it. Air purifying plants start the process of cleaning the air by absorbing pollutants present on it into their leaves. After this, the air-purifying plants transfer the air pollutant absorbed by their leaves to their roots where microbes found underneath the ground disintegrate them. Those that cannot be disintegrated by the microbes are broken down by the plant itself.
Why do microbes disintegrate pollutants? The reason is simple, microbes that live in the roots of air-purifying plants feed air pollutants to survive. Also, plants need such pollutants such as ammonia and benzene for healthy growth.
Do Plants For Cleaning Air Really Work?
There are various studies that provide evidence about the effectivity of indoor plants for cleansing air. I cannot prove to you the effectivity of indoor plants using my own experience since I am no scientist. This is the reason why I will secure help from various studies conducted by reputable researchers to answer your question.
A study published in the Journal of Atmospheric Environment (2011) shows that four varieties of air-purifying plants – common house ivy, C.marifolium, dracaena compacta, and Epipremnum aureum- help to decrease the presence of formaldehyde on air within an enclosed space by 81%-96% per day per 1 plant. Such a decrease of formaldehyde brought only by a single plant is important to consider.
The research conducted by Peter Igra and associated states that S.podyphyllum may be utilized by cities to promote environment-friendly initiatives that promote cleaner air. S. podophyllum is claimed to decrease CO2 and benzene present in the air by 45%.
Research conducted by Bill Wolverton and many others in 1989 showed that the roots leaves, microbes and soil associated with plants have the ability to neutralize air pollutants coming from smoke, organic solvents, cigarette, and many others. This research, funded by NASA, further claim that plants neutralize such air pollutants to convert them into tissues, This study means a lot since it tells us that what seems harmful for us humans are beneficial to plants instead.
All the studies that I’ve discussed here are definite proof that plants for cleaning air work. If you’re eager to know the top 10 best NASA air purifying plants you need at home, then proceed with me unto the next section below.
Top 10 NASA Air Purifying Plants
There’s no need for you to scratch your head and wonder which plants for cleaning air work best. NASA has a list of the 10 best air purifying plants that you should have. Enough chitchat! let’s discuss what they are!
First on the list is aloe vera.
Personally, I wasn’t expecting this plant to be a good air purifier because I thought that it is only good for treating skin conditions such as inflammation and burns. Surprisingly, aloe vera do miracles at eliminating formaldehyde. This plant is perfect for small apartments. Aloe vera is also good to be placed on kitchen windows.
The rubber plant is placed second on the list.
Rubber plants give off a lot of oxygen and this ability makes it possible for this plant to remove pollutants in the air. It is recommended that you keep this plant on a large open space where direct or indirect sunlight can reach it.
The peace lily is a heavy-duty air-purifying plant.
It removes all air pollutants that I’ve discussed in the previous sections. This plant works well in neutralizing air pollutants coming from tobacco, rubber, gasoline, lacquers, and varnishes.
The spider plant is fourth on the list.
It doesn’t need to be tended regularly and is not very sensitive. Chemicals coming from sprays won’t be able to hold their ground against this plant. The spider plant is recommended if you’re living near highways or roads.
The 5th placer on NASA’s list is the money plant.
This plant doesn’t mind being left in the dark for a few days. This makes it ideal to be on bedrooms, bathrooms, guestrooms and other places in the house where sunlight cannot enter really well. This plant reduces trichloroethylene and benzene in the air.
Chrysanthemum fills that 6th place of the ranking.
NASA emphasizes that this plant really works well in cleaning the air. It removes xylene, benzene, ammonia, etc. This plant is a favorite among homeowners because it can be planted on indoor pots and in gardens. You might want to keep chrysanthemum in places where there are lots of plastics and smoke.
The 7th placer in NASA’s ranking of the best air purifying plants is the snake plant.
Snake plant is a popular indoor plant in offices, restaurants, and schools. This is easy to maintain because it requires little watering and doesn’t need sunlight very much. Benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene don’t stand a chance against this plant.
Chinese evergreen is at the 8th place on the list.
It doesn’t only give you breathable air but good luck as well. Chinese evergreen gives off a lot of oxygen and is perfect to put in the parts of your house which feel a little bit heavy and tight. You may also put this in the garage if you have one.
9th on the list in the Gerbera daisy.
This plant treats benzene as its mortal enemy. This plant can be kept inside during summers and outside during winters. Personally, I love to put this plant on my bedroom window since it also helps to improve sleep.
Dumb cane is at the last place.
This is because its sap is poisonous. Upon handling this plant, you may want to wash your hands before rubbing your eyes or touching other parts of your body.
Air Purifying Plants For Babies
According to nurserydesignstudio.com in an article titled “10 Childsafe Houseplants for Nursery”, the following are the safest house plants for babies:
- English ivy
- ponytail palm
- blue echeveria
- prayer plant
- Christmas cactus plant
- spider plant
- parlor palm
- areca palm
- baby’s tears
- Boston fern
Air Purifying Plants for Cats
According to balconygardenweb.com in an article titled “11 NASA Approved Air Purifying Plants Safe For Cats”, the following are NASA approved air-purifying plants that are safe for your feline friends.
- dendrobium orchid
- rubber plant
- Australian sword fern
- dwarf date palm
- moth orchid
- money tree
- areca palm
- gerbera daisy
- spider plant
- Boston fern
- bamboo palm
How Many plants for cleaning air Should You Have
There is no limit as to how many plants for cleaning the air you should have at home. However, there are a few considerations which you need to know, First. before thinking of having house plants, assess your expertise in gardening. Taking care of 10 or 15 plants at the same time will be hard if you’re not an expert in taking care of plants. If you’re an amateur start by taking care of 3 t0 5 air purifying plants then gradually increase their number as your experience grows.
You also need to consider the area of your house. For small houses having 3 plants will do. Medium-sized houses, on the other hand, may have up to 7. Large houses will do well with 15 plants given that there’s someone who can actively look after them.
Wrapping It Up
You might want to add air purifying plants into your home or office if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. They are low maintenance, easy-care, and evergreen. Having air-purifying plants will make your house or office livelier and feel more comfortable. Aside from this, they also help you to fight the harmful effects of the polluted air of the city.
Your very lucky nowadays that there are air purifying plants online. No need for you to go to gardens or farms and look for the plants that you need. All you have to do to have plants for cleaning the air at your house is to visit Amazon, choose which ones you like, finish the purchase with just a simple click of a button, and wait for them to be delivered. You can also click here.