Air-cleaning plants act as natural air purifiers, helping to absorb many of the harmful volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that surround us in our everyday lives. Indoor plants that clean the air add beauty to your space, and they might help keep you healthy too.
Any time you buy new linens, carpeting, or other home furnishings, you also bring the chemicals used in their manufacturing into your house. Even unbagging your dry cleaning can expose you to contaminants. These chemicals make up a portion of the air pollution that exists inside our homes and workplaces. Even if you can't smell them, VOCs likely still exist in the air around you.
Research has shown that air-cleaning plants are an antidote to many of the unhealthy household substances that contribute to poor indoor air quality, which can lead to illnesses like headaches, sinus congestion, and even fatigue. Greenery soaks up VOCs, breaks them down, and uses them for food.
Two or three plants in 8-inch or 10-inch pots for every 100 square feet will help clean up the air in your home or office. Double that, and your indoor environment will become healthier in less time—just one week is all it takes. Add more plants in areas where an individual remains for several hours, such as at a desk or computer, watching TV, or sleeping.
These 10 houseplants are effective against a range of the more common household emissions, such as ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene.