Dr. Garrett Wdowin has written a great article for HealthierTalk.com where he not only discusses the impact of air quality on your health, but he provides a simple solution to combating the high levels of toxic fumes permeating our dwellings: houseplants.
That's right: a number of plants, grown indoors, act as automatic air purifiers. Wow.
In his article, Dr. Wdowin references studies done by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) on the impact of growing plants upon chemicals, and has included the NASA list of plants proven to remove toxic chemicals (formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene) from the air.
The NASA List of House Plants That Purify the Air: Natural Air Filters
To read the NASA research report, check out the pdf version available for download. According to the NASA report, the scientists studied the following plants - most of which are easy enough to find in your local nursery.
Their Common Names:
Mass cane/Corn cane
Their Scientific Names:
Dracaena deremensis "'Janet Craig"
Spathiphyllum "'Mauna Loa'"
Dracaena deremensis "'Warneckei'"
If you're really interested in this - and want a longer list of air-cleaning house plants, check out B.C. Wolverton's book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants That Purify Your Home.