Plants can filter benzene, formaldehyde, ozone, radon, trichloroethylene, and second had smoke from the air in our homes and offices. Toxins accumulate indoors more today than when our grandparents were working and raising children because we have made our houses and buildings less leaky.
Prior to man landing on the moon, homes and office buildings leaked air rapidly enough to keep the inside oxygen supply adequately fresh. The energy crisis during the 1970’s changed that. The need for energy conservation and the higher cost of oil pushed us to insulate and caulk our dwellings, making them quite airtight.
Our effort saved resources and money but created another problem. The air inside our living spaces now hangs around for five or more hours before finding an escape route to the outside world, so toxins accumulate. In the slightly-old days our air supply, including any toxic elements, slipped outdoors in only an hour or two.
It’s Hard to Escape the Toxins
Many products that we frequently use can contain toxins:
- Formaldehyde is found in cigarette smoke, grocery bags, plywood, pressed-wood, foam insulation, and fire retardants.
- The dry cleaning industry exposes us to trichloroethylene, as do adhesives, varnishes, and lacquers.
- We are exposed to benzene via rubber, ink, synthetic fibers, detergents, and plastics.
Thankfully, nature can help us filter our air since toxic elements are absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. NASA has done extensive research on air filtration using plants. They discovered 18 to 20 plants can keep the air fresh in an 1800 square foot residence. An added benefit is that these air purifiers beautify our living and working areas.
Starter List for Choosing Plants
- Chrysanthemum plants are an excellent choice since they clean the air of trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde.
- The gerbera daisy, peace lily, and the dracaena marginata effectively absorb both benzene and trichloroethylene.
- Plants that soak up formaldehyde are azaleas, corn plants, bamboo palms, and golden pothos.
- Another good air filter for benzene is the English ivy.
As you know, while plants wash our air clean they are also creating the oxygen we breathe by utilizing the carbon dioxide we exhale. During photosynthesis, six molecules of carbon dioxide and six water molecules mix with sunlight to release six molecules of oxygen, and one of glucose (the plant’s food). It is a win-win situation for people and plants.
Interested in buying plants? Consider shopping at the beautiful Urhausen Greenhouses located in the Chicago area.
Source: Healthline. com.