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Grow Some Fresh Air!
Plants that Purify Your Environment
Houseplants have long been appreciated for their aesthetic value. Recent research has proven they are also important for their ability to purify the air of toxins. We've included a list of the ten best plants that purify your environment on the continued page.
Buildings have been constructed to be more energy efficient over the years. This is a great way to conserve precious resources; however toxic gasses are also trapped, leading to serious health problems. Between work and home, many people are spending most of their time indoors. The length of time an individual stays in a sealed environment can contribute to Sick Building Illness (SBI) or Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Some of the symptoms associated with SBI are allergies, asthma, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, fatigue, headache, nervous system disorders, respiratory congestion, and sinus congestion.
Many people exhibiting these symptoms have been considered to be hypochondriacs, or are thought to be exaggerating or crazy. Recent studies have proven these illnesses are valid. The EPA currently rates indoor pathogens as one of the top five threats to public health.
Some of the toxins released into the air are from synthetic furnishings and other items. Formaldehyde is the most common, and it is used to treat household products such as garbage bags, paper towels, facial tissues, fabrics, permanent press materials, carpet backing, floor coverings, adhesives, paneling, particle board and plywood. It is also released by gas stoves and tobacco smoke. Xylene and Toluene are used in caulking products, ceiling tiles, computer VDU screens, floors, paints, stains, varnishes, and wallpaper.
Benzene is added to adhesives, caulking products, paints, ceiling tiles, wallpaper and tobacco. Trichloroethylene is emitted from copy machines. Chloroform can be released when chlorinated tap water is heated. Ammonia is added to cleaning products. Alcohols are released from products such as caulk, ceiling tiles, cosmetics, paints, stains, particle board, floors and wallpaper. Acetone is added to cosmetics, nail polish and correction fluid.
Humans also release toxins into the air, which are termed bioeffluents. These include up to 150 volatile substances such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrogen, methane, phenols, methyl indole, aldehydes, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, acetone, ethyl alcohol, fatty acids, indol, and mercaptans.
Mold and bacteria also pose a serious health risk, when they are inhaled over time in a sealed environment.
When attempting to come up with a clean life support system for space station habitation, NASA came up with a solution to help filter these pathogens. They looked to a larger model for comparison, the earth's atmosphere. They discovered plants can also purify the air in enclosed buildings. Formaldehyde can be filtered out of the air by adding plants such as Boston Ferns, Chinese Evergreens, Spider Plants, Banana Trees, and Rubber Plants.
Bamboo Palms add moisture to the air and remove Benzene, Trichlorethylene and Formaldehyde. Areca Palms, Dwarf Date Palms, Moth Orchids, Dumb Canes and Queen Ferns can be planted to help dissipate Xylene and Toluene.
Ammonia can be removed from the air by planting Lady Palms, King of Hearts, Lily Turfs, Lady Janes, and Florist Mums. The Peace Lily removes Acetone, Methyl Alcohol, Ethyl Acetate, Benzene, Ammonia, Trichloroethylene, Formaldehyde and Xylene!
The following Types of plants are also beneficial in cleaning household toxins from the air: Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm, Dracaena, English Ivy, Ficus Alii, Corn Plant, Golden Pothos, Gerbera Daisy, Dragon Tree, Red Emerald and Lacy Tree Philodendrons, Syngonium, Dumb Cane, Parlor Palm, Weeping Fig, Schefflera. Wax Begonia, Snake Plant, Norfolk Island Pine, King of Hearts, Prayer Plant, Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus, Oakleaf Ivy, Lily Turf, Dendrobium Orchid, Anthurium, Croton, Poinsettia, Dwarf Azalea, Peacock Plant, Aloe Vera, Cyclamen, Urn Plant, Tulip and Kalanchoe.
All plants release phytochemicals that can remove up to sixty percent of mold and bacteria.
Here is a list of ten of the most cleansing houseplants
For more information on this subject please read How To Grow Fresh Air, 50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office by Dr. B. C. Wolverton
© 2011 Daisy
"Food nourishes the body,
but flowers nourish the soul."