Get Some Plants that Clean Air!
Have you thought about getting some Plants that Clean Air? Every house or apartment accumulates indoor air pollution as a result of the cleaning products we use and the materials modern furniture are made from, never mind any pollution that comes inside from the passing traffic or nearby factories. The good news is that some of the plants that are best at cleaning and purifying the air are also some of the toughest that withstand low light conditions and at least some neglect!
Indoor Air Quality at Home:
Most of us are aware that green plants are pretty good for the planet since they use the power of the sun to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into energy that they use to grow…and as a bi-product they release oxygen which we need in order to breath. However, what the boffins at NASA discovered was that certain standard house plants are also capable of removing common toxic pollutants that are found in all of our homes. NASA started studying how plants can purify air as part of their ongoing research into space stations for the future. The research was spread over several years, but the final report was published in 1989 by Dr B C Wolverton and describes how plants were tested for their ability to remove the three most commonly occurring pollutants by putting the plants in individual chambers, injecting the pollutants and monitoring the changes over time.
The really interesting outcome for us is that some of the most common, cheapest and most hardy plants can have the biggest cleaning effect on the air
||Used in dry cleaning, printing inks, varnishes and paints. Also used to de-grease metal so residues can be brought into the house via some new items of furniture for example.
||Recognized as a potent carcinogen
|| Found in petrol, oil, ink, pain, plastics and rubber
||Irritates the skin and eyes and has been found to cause cell mutation. Associated with bone marrow diseases.
|| The most common indoor pollutant since it is released from Urea insulation foam and from pressed wood products that are the hallmark of modern furniture. Also found in many cleaning products, carpets and cigarette smoke.
||Irritates the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat and so make asthma worse. Associated with some throat cancers.
Plants that Clean Air:
The NASA scientists tested many plants and finally identified a list of around 30 common houseplants that had the biggest impact on improving air quality. Plants that clean air turn out to be mostly very easy to grow, with thrive in relatively low light conditions and most will survive some neglect or erratic watering! Great news for those of us who only have vaguely green fingers!
Here is a list of the Top FIVE Plants that Clean Air based on being cheap and easy to grow:
||English Ivy – Hedera Helix
||Removes Benzene & Formaldehyde
||Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum
||Removes Tichloroethylene, Benzene & Formaldehyde
||Spider Plant – Chlorophytum
||Rubber Plant – Ficus elastica
Bamboo palm – Chamaedorea sefritzii
Many of these plants are available in supermarkets, but they are all really common houseplants that can be picked up for just a few dollars each from a standard Garden Center. They will all survive in indirect light…but obviously the more light they get the better they will grow. And as for watering…once a week does the job and a good soaking before you go on holiday. Just like the rest of the house they will appreciate dusting…so every so often just wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth. This selection of plants that clean air really are that simple to look after!
How Many Plants That Clean Air Do I Need?
The more plants you have the better will be the air quality…and the more your house will start to resemble a jungle. Just a few plants only take a couple of minutes a week to care for and will last many years. If you invest in more plants then there is more work to do so you need to find a compromise that works well for you. However, there is also some science and NASA did discover the optimum plant density to use…
NASA found that 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch (203 mm) diameter containers are enough for a 1,800-square-foot (170 m2) house
However, don’t forget that you can use fewer plants and concentrate them where you spend most time and where you think there is most pollution!
Take a Frugal Tip from the MeanyGoat and look out for some of these plants that clean air on special offer in the supermarket. Also check with your friends since most of them can be propagated by cuttings...and that way you get the plants for free!!
Click on these links to find out more about this topic:
WIKI List of air Filtering Plants
NASA Indoor Plant Report – Dr Wolverton
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