Houseplants are excellent indoor air cleaners, but some of them are more effective than others at filtering out pollutants and toxins in the air. So, it is less likely to inhale these toxic chemicals, which is certainly good for our health.
NASA researchers recently performed a research to find the best ways to clean the air in space stations. In the research, they found the plants below are effective at removing toxic substances like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene, and ammonia from the air that have been linked to health effects like eye irritation and headaches.
Below are the plants that make the best natural air filters. NASA researchers suggest having, at least, one plant per 100 square feet of home or office.
Ficus (Ficus elastica) – This awesome plant is very easy to maintain because of the fact that it does not need a lot of light. Ficus is extremely effective for cleansing the air of formaldehyde. However, make sure to be careful with it if you have pets or small children because this plant’s leaves can be poisonous.
English Ivy (Hedera helix) – Englis Ivy or Hedera helix is another popular houseplant that helps filter airborne toxins inside your home. This plant is effective at cleaning formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene from the air. Ivy is able to remove up to 58 percent feces particles and 60 percent of the toxins in the air, within six hours.Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) – This is another houseplant that is known to improve your indoor air quality. According to NASA, it is one of the best houseplants for absorbing airborne toxins, including nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and trichloroethylene. It is extremely resistant and only needs very little light in order to remain healthy. Besides being able to remove toxins, the plant is great for keeping it in the bedroom because it is able to produce oxygen at night.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – The spider plant possesses the ability to remain healthy even under minimal light. Also, it excellently absorbs toxins present in the air, such as carbon monoxide, styrene, and formaldehyde, as well as gasoline. One spider plant can effectively purify air in almost 200 square feets of space.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) – Peace lily is excellent when it comes to removing chemicals and toxins from the air. This herb also filters trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, benzene, and ammonia from the air. The major downside of this houseplant is that it is mildly toxic if you ingest any part of the plant. After ingesting, you may start to feel nauseous, experience difficulty when swallowing, or to feel a burning sensation in your mouth or skin. If you start to feel any of these symptoms, it would be wise to seek medical help immediately.
According to NASA, you should have between 15 and 18 of these plants in an area of 500 square feet, meaning 3 to 4 plants are enough for your home. Do not forget, to put one of the plants in your bedroom, because you probably spend some time there.