Do you know that plants are the lungs of the earth? This is because they produce oxygen that makes life possible. Do you know that you can eliminate airborne toxins and purify the air with some specific indoor and outdoor plants? Do you know that potted plants were a desirable part of the architecture of a building for air purification thousand of years ago?
Ancient Architecture shows that the Egyptians brought plants indoors as early as 3rd Century BC to purify and beautify their environment. Paleoethnobotanists have also found evidence that plants were grown indoors over 2000 years ago. This indicates that the people of that era knew the power and benefits of plants!
According to California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA), besides outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution has been found to be more hazardous than outdoor air pollution. This is as a result of many indoor sources of pollutants which consist of toxic gases and particles. Since people spend more time indoors, indoor exposures can be high and pose a significant risk to health.
The following are some volatile organic contaminants (VOCs) off-gassed in the home many people are unaware of.
POTENTIAL HEALTH ISSUES
|BENZENE||Gas stoves, malfunctioning gas appliances, combustion byproducts, wood stoves, tobacco smoke, car or truck exhaust seeping into your home||Headache; nausea; angina; difficulty concentrating; death at high concentrations|
|Adhesives, solvents (perfumes, scented products, paint), cleaning agents, pesticides, paints, moth repellents, paint removers/strippers spot removers, typewriter correction fluids,||Acute inhalation and exposure to trichloroethylene causes sleepiness, fatigue, headache, confusion, and feelings of euphoria. Effects on the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and skin issues|
|Formaldehyde||Air fresheners, treated water, Pressed wood products such as plywood, vinyl flooring and particleboard, furnishings; wallpaper; durable press fabrics; personal care products.||Eye, nose, and throat irritation; a headache; allergic reactions; cancer|
In reality, we can’t entirely eliminate the use or consumption of the products highlighted above, as they make life easier in this fast-paced world. However, we can choose to opt for safer alternatives or engage reduction measures.
9 PLANTS WITH THE ABILITY TO PURIFY THE AIR
In a research designed to create a breathable environment for NASA lunar habitat, a notable scientist; B.C. Wolverton discovered 50 species of house plants which could purify and eliminate up to 87 percent of toxins in the air, including dust, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide etc. These plants also have the ability to add moisture to the air and act as effective botanical air purification systems.
Purify indoor air with the help of these 9 power plants as recommended by Dr B.C Wolverton
This plant grows wild in tropical climates around the world and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses. Aloe is also used for decorative purposes and grows successfully indoors as a potted plant. It helps purify the air by clearing formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners and paints. In addition, the juice from its leaves relieves pain from scrapes and burns. This plant can be grown in small pots or large containers; depending on how large you want them, as it replicates to fill an area.
This plant is also known as bamboo palm, golden cane palm, yellow palm, or butterfly palm. It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens in tropical and subtropical regions, and indoors as a houseplant. According to NASA and Dr B. C. Wolverton, the areca palm filters xylene and toluene from the air. Wolverton also specifies that, at 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) in height, the plant will transpire 1 litre of water per 24 hours, thereby making it an effective humidifier.
This plant is also known as rubber fig, rubber bush, rubber tree, or Indian rubber bush. This plant is grown around the world as an ornamental plant, outside in frost-free climates from the tropical to the Mediterranean and inside in colder climates as a houseplant. According to AvianWeb, rubber plants excel at removing chemical toxins, especially formaldehyde from indoor air, requiring less light than many other plants.
A word of caution: rubber plant leaves can be toxic hence harmful, so be mindful of that if you have pets and little children!
Spider plants are a very popular choice for an indoor plant, and their popularity only grew when studies confirmed just how good it is at purifying and freshening indoor air. They excel at removing formaldehyde, as well as xylene and toluene from the home or office environment.
One way to get rid of benzene and formaldehyde in your home is to purchase a Chinese evergreen plant. This tropical plant is one of the most durable houseplants you can grow, tolerating poor light, dry air and drought. They are thought to bring good luck and were used as decoration in Asian countries long before they made it west.
One of the more common indoor plants, and is typically found in offices. The appearance resembles an outdoor tree, which is why this is one of the most popular choices. It’s good at purifying the air and has been proven to remove airborne formaldehyde and other airborne toxins
MOTHER IN LAW’S TONGUE
Native to tropical West Africa “Nigeria” and east to the “Congo”. This plant known as Snake Plant, it is one of the more beautiful indoor plants, and its leaves do resemble snakes and twist and curl as they grow upwards. This is a plant you’ll love to have in your home because it offers some of the broadest protection from indoor contaminants because of its great air purification abilities.
GOLDEN POTHOS OR DEVIL’S IVY
Dr Bill Wolverton considers this plant as one of the best plants to purify the air. It has the ability to make the air in your home more breathable and takes care of at least four different toxic substances that could be in your home. Also, bear in mind that this plant is a climber. It has the ability to cover the walls of any building if planted close.
The Dracaena corn plant is a popular indoor air purifier and is found in many homes and offices.
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