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NASA Recommended Plants to Improve Your Air Quality In Indoor Condition

NASA Recommended Plants to Improve Your Air Quality In Indoor Condition

While all plants take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, they also act as natural humidifiers and can remove some harmful chemicals from the air around us. 1989, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) carried out Clean Air Study and published results which provide a definitive list of plants that are most effective at purifying indoor air.

Air Study, that found which are the best indoor plants at removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from our surroundings – chemicals that have been linked to adverse health effects like headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, and others.

Air-purifying plants

  1. Areca Palm - As with all plants, the Areca Palm is biologically engineered to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. However, what sets the Areca Palm apart is its ability to also purify the environment it’s placed in by removing dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. The Areca Palm does well in filtered light and needs to be watered often. For one person, four shoulder-high plants should suffice.
  2. Snake plant- Plant otherwise known as the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is unique for its nighttime oxygen production, and ability to purify air through the removal of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. The Snake Plant does well in window light and needs to be watered weekly. For one person, six to eight waist level plants are recommended. In an air-sealed room, these plants are capable of producing enough oxygen to breathe normally.
  3. Money Plant- Featured by NASA, the Money Plant is renowned for its ability to remove chemicals and other pollutants from the air, specifically benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. However, despite the benefit of its high purification rate, this plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and small children if its leaves are ingested.
  4. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii) - Arguably the prettiest entry on the list, the Gerbera Daisy is often used as a decorative element in gardening. However, the Gerbera Daisy is also distinct for its ability to produce high levels of oxygen at night while removing harmful chemicals, such as benzene and trichloroethylene. Beneficial for those suffering from sleep apnea and breathing disorders, keep this one on the nightstand for better sleep.                  
  5. Spider Plant - For those of you who are houseplant newbies, the resilient spider plant is a perfect choice. It will quietly battle toxins including carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the printing and rubber industries. If you have pets, this is one of the few houseplants that are non-toxic to animals. 
  6. Peace Lily - The Peace Lily is one of the most visually appealing plants on the list with its unique white flowers. It also boasts one of the highest transpiration rates on the list of plants that clean the air. Use it to remove trichloroethylene, benzene, acetone, and alcohols from the air. Just be cautious of the plant’s high toxicity and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

        You can also keep peace lilies in the bathroom as one of your shower plants because it grows and flowers in low-light conditions.

  1. Anthurium- Anthurium is popular gift plant; it is a species in the plants family araceae, native to Colombia and Ecuador. Anthuriums have heart shape shiny green leaves and beautiful flowers which last for several months after bloom. It is effective in cleaning formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene from the air. 
  2. English Ivy- English Ivy is one of the most popular vine plants in Europe; it is a species of flowering plant in the family araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. English Ivy was found to be one of the most effective plants which remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene from the air.
  3. Weeping fig - Popular houseplants since the Victorian times, weeping figs can help to tackle levels of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene Recommendation and Care: They are fairly fussy plants that don’t like change. Keep your weeping fig in bright, indirect light away from drafts, and it will be a trusty purifier for many years to come.
  4. Rubber plant - While rubber plants (Ficus robusta) are grown as easy-care houseplants, they also improve indoor air quality, according to studies conducted by NASA. Their large leaves can absorb airborne chemicals and break them down, rendering them harmless. They absorb exhaled carbon dioxide and convert it to breathable oxygen. Rubber plants also eliminate bacteria and mold spores in the air. Rubber plants are tolerant of neglect and so can be grown easily by those with little experience with plants. They should be allowed to dry out between watering.
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