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keeping the air in your home clean is very important, considering the amount of time we spend in it. There are many different toxins in our homes that we breathe, and seeing that we may not all go out and completely change the materials we use building our homes and living our day to day lives, we can filter these emissions and slowly decrease some of the toxins as we go along, greatly improving our health
What toxins are in our homes that we breathe through the air?
- Trichloroethylene: This toxin is found in paints, adhesives, printing inks, and lacquers found in the home.
- Ammonia: window cleaners, floor waxes, and fertilizers.
- Xylene: Found in leather, paint and rubbers.
- Benzene: Plastics, resins, fibres, rubbers, dyes, glues, paint and furniture wax.
- Formaldehyde: Found in synthetic fabrics, including your towels, and tissue paper. Formaldehyde Paper bags, waxed papers, paper towels, table napkins, plywood, particle board and panelling.
That is a lot of toxins in our homes, and I am sure there are many others we do not know about. There is a fact worth knowing, NASA did a two-year study back in 1989 with Wolverton Environmental Services that really turned things around for us. Teaching us that houseplants can greatly filter and improve our indoor air quality by up to 87%.
In NASA’s Clean air study we were able to learn how plants clean the air by emitting water vapor that creates a pumping action to pull contaminated air down around a plant’s roots, where it is then converted into food for the plant. The more air that is allowed to circulate through the roots of the plants, the more effective they are at cleaning polluted air. We also now know where to place plants in our home which is about 1 plant every 100 square feet. In an 1800 square foot home, you should have about 15-18 good sized plants.
You can learn all of this amazing information from Dr. B.C. Wolverton’s Book
How to grow Fresh Air: 50 houseplants that purify your home and office
The best air cleaning plants to have in your home
We will not go through all 50 plants that Dr. Wolverton does, but we will provide you with a great starter list. These plants are affordable, you can also get clippings from friends. You can start slow and pick up a new plant every so often. I usually splurge during the winter months as I am getting a little low both in my mood and in missing the blossoming outdoor world. Plants can provide a wonderful uplift to the mood.
|Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)|
|Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)|
|Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)|
|Kimberly queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)|
|English ivy (Hedera helix)|
|Lilyturf (Liriope spicata)|
|Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)|
|Devil’s ivy, Money plant (Epipremnum aureum)|
|Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)|
|Flamingo lily (Anthurium andraeanum)|
|Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)|
|Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)|
|Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)|
|Variegated snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)|
|Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)|
|Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)|
|Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)|
|Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)|
|Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’)|
|Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)|
|Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)|
|Florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)|
|Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)|
|Dendrobium orchids (Dendrobium spp.)|
|Dumb canes (Dieffenbachia spp.)|
|King of hearts (Homalomena wallisii)|
|Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.)|
|Aloe vera (Aloe vera)|
|Janet Craig (Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”)|
This list provides plants that actually help clean the air you breathe in your home. You can see the chart provided by Wikipedia from NASA’s clean air study of what plants will remove particular toxic emissions from the air.
You may not have a green thumb, but I assure you will get better as you go. Having houseplants is well worth the try. Start simple and ask for help on what plants are the easiest to grow. You will likely find that you really enjoy tending to them.
I personally have a house full of plants. Even after researching the benefits of house plants I feel I could go out and buy some more. I might even start a plant clipping group with friends, where my love of plants began. A good friend gave me a clipping of her philodendron, and I have grown and made several clones of this large, beautiful plant, for the last 15 years.
Bringing life providing nature into our homes can bless us all in so many ways. It truly amazes me that we have the ability to filter such harsh toxins that are in our homes. This can be a first step of taking action to create a healthy space for our families, while slowly changing materials we use that can be harmful to our health.
I encourage you to use the knowledge NASA and Wolverton Environmental Services has worked so hard to bring us to good use. We have proven once again, nature can heal our environments, inside and out.