Houseplants: Nature’s Air Purifiers

peace lilyA friend gave me a potted English ivy plant years ago as a gift, and it has been the gift that keeps on giving. A houseplant is a perfect gift for someone who has everything, and it can even help improve health.

Plenty of studies have shown that everyday houseplants act as air purifiers. In the 1980’s, NASA studied the air cleaning properties of plants and found that certain plants were incredibly effective at reducing airborne toxins like benzene, TCE (trichloroethylene) and formaldehyde. Since then, many more studies have shown that plants are also great at neutralizing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well toluene, octane and terpene (all toxic to humans).

Plants have also been shown to reduce stress and blood pressure. So if you sit at a desk all day, you may want to have a little greenery in sight.

Since many Americans, especially during the winter months, spend most time indoors, a pretty plant that cleanses the air and offers stress reduction, is a perfect gift. My favorite is the peace lily, pictured above. It is hardy and beautiful and is especially effective for benzene, formaldehyde and TCE. If you are looking for an effective, easy-to-maintain plant, the common ivy takes care of benzene, formaldehyde and TCE, as well as toluene, octane and terpene. Spider plants can neutralize carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

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December 2011
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