May 11, 2010

Growing Plants to Clean The Air Inside Your Home

Dr. Garrett Wdowin has written a great article for 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:

Bamboo palm
Chinese evergreen
English ivy
Gerbera daisy
Janet Craig
Mass cane/Corn cane
Mother-in-law's tongue
Peace lily
Pot mum

Their Scientific Names:
Chamaedorea seifritzii
Aglaonema modestum
Hedera helix
Ficus benjamina
Gerbera jamesonii
Dracaena deremensis "'Janet Craig"
Dracaena marginata
Dracaena massangeana
Sansevieria laurentii
Spathiphyllum "'Mauna Loa'"
Chrysanthemum morifolium
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.
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