If you are worried about Dirty House Syndrome (indoor pollution in your home) you don’t have to worry about buying an air cleaner. Mother Nature already produces her own natural air cleaners – houseplants. Some houseplants are very efficient at removing all kinds of toxins from the air including the formaldehyde fumes that are emitted from new carpeting. If you burn a lot of essential oils and are worried about the residual carbons that can linger in the air afterwards then air-cleaning houseplants might be in order.
Indoor air pollution is considered by many experts to be one of the main threats to health in the twenty first century. People are getting ill in what are called “sick buildings”. To make matters even worse, statistics show that most North Americans spend 90% of their entire life indoors in buildings that may be off gassing chemicals and particulates.
Many palms and tropical plants naturally purify the air. Among the two most effective are the Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), the Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii). Plants from the Ficus family are also pretty air purifiers and include the Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) and the Weeping Fig.
The Lady Palm is also excellent for removing chemical vapors and it is every easy to take care of. The Bamboo palm is top rated by NASA for removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. with its attractive, broad shiny leaves survives in less light then most houseplants from the ficus family. It can also survive cooler temperatures (down to forty degrees.) It is very easy to grow and known for its ability to effectively remove all of the types of toxins but particularly formaldehyde from the air.
This is a beautiful South American plant that produces beautiful white shell shaped flowers called spathes. The plant sends up stiff white spathes and can reach a height of two to three feet. It excels when it comes to removing alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
\In the fern family, which is probably the least expensive, the top three air cleaners English Ivy, the Australian Sword Fern and the Boston fern. Other assorted plants that combat indoor air pollution are Posths (Epipremnum aureum), any of the many varieties of Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) and English Ivy. Just a note here about English Ivy – it is also used to draw prosperity into a home if you are into gathering lucky plants that also clean the air.