Top 10 Houseplants that Clean the Air

Top 10 Houseplants that Clean the Air

Indoor air quality has become a real problem.  It often contains formaldehyde from carpets and adhesives, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints, petrochemicals from fragrances, and a laundry list of chemicals from fabric softeners.  While it’s always important to let some fresh air in, researchby NASA found that many houseplants are capable of reducing harmful toxins in the air, such as:  benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), toluene, and more.

Benzene is a cancer-causing agent found in many glues, solvents, paints, and art supplies. Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent that off-gases from furniture and carpets. Trichloroethylene is a solvent used with metal parts, dry cleaning, paints and paint remover.  Toluene is found in nail polish and nail polish remover as well as foam.

Obviously reducing your exposure to these harmful toxins is essential to improve the air quality in your home, but it may not be possible to eliminate them altogether. So what can you do? You may not think of adding plants to your space to reduce the amount of toxins you’re exposed to but it can help. Here are some of the best air-purifying houseplants and the toxins they are most effective at reducing:

  1. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)—benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE)
  2. Chrysanthemums or mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE (most effective against TCE according to NASA)
  3. Common Ivy or English Ivy (Hedera helix)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE, toluene, octane, terpene (most effective against benzene according to NASA)
  4. Ficus tree or Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE, octane, terpene
  5. Mass cane (Dracaena massangeana)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE (most effective against formaldehyde, according to NASA)

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE

Purple heart (Tradescantia pallida)—benzene, TCE, toluene, terpene

Red Ivy (Hemigraphis alternate)—benzene, TCE, toluene, octane, terpene

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum, Chlorophytum elatum)—formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide

Wax plant (Hoya carnosa)—benzene, TCE, toluene, octane, terpene

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNMis an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the vegan cookbook:  The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.

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