It is important that humans live a life full of good health. However, such a life has become a luxury.
There is a high occurrence of pollution in major cities around the world. People living in these cities
suffer from the hazard of smog, smoke and poisonous gases. These harmful materials are gotten from motor vehicles, fossil fuel-based power, and factories.
The good news is that are now different solutions to make the air in your home much cleaner. There are
now ways to eliminate pollution in the home or get rid of the air having allergens and contaminants.
Air purifiers may present a very good solution to clean the air in the home but air purifying plants
present a special and more natural way to breathe clean air in the home.
The Biggest Problem: Pollution
There a lot of death annually as a result of a pollution-related condition. According to statistics by the World Health Organisation, 4.6 million people die annually due to pollution.
The World Health Organisation has another incredible statistic that shows that a large percentage of people in the world live in polluted homes. According to publicized research by the World Health Organisation indicates that nine of every ten people live in air polluted homes. The values of air pollution in these homes are known to exceed the safe limit.
The biggest problem is that humans are not the only being suffering from all the air pollution in the home. The stratosphere of our planet experiences a certain level of depletion as a result of the amount of pollution released from different homes.
There have been a lot of measures, rules, and regulations put in place to deal with the issue of pollution. Very good examples of some of these measures are the 1970 Clean Air Act in the US, the switch to hybrid vehicles, and the adoption of solar energy in countries throughout the world.
Despite these measures put in place, there is still a long way to go if we are to benefit from very clean air in our homes and on this planet.
A Possible Solution
Fresh air can be regarded as a luxurious item. It is also regarded as a material which money cannot afford or can it? In May 2017, a company was discovered in China selling compressed air in bottles.
The product of this company may sound weird but it exists and there are a lot of people around the world who are ready to buy it.
The increasing problem of air pollution has also made people even more desperate for a solution. A lot of people around the world are willing to pay as much as $24 just for an eight-liter can of compressed air or $75 to get an anti-pollution mask.
The simple truth is just that these companies are not just restricted to one corner of the world anymore. These companies in charge of fresh air can now be found in different countries like China, the UK, India and Canada. In the UK, Aethaer offers clients jars of clean air for £80 plus £12 shipping.
What is Indoor Air pollution?
Indoor air pollution is a simple term used to describe the different air pollutants which we come across in homes, offices and even schools. The term describes the amount of pollution found in different human living areas.
A high number of deaths caused by indoor pollution can be said to have been caused by continuous exposure to the smoke emitted by cooking stoves. Another major cause of indoor air pollution is environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
Funny enough, environmental tobacco smoke comprises of about 7,000 individual chemical compounds.
Some other notable causes of indoor air pollution include the use of materials such as glues, degreasers, synthetic building materials, cleaning agents, pesticides, odorless and colorless radon gases, and carbon monoxide.
The pollution problem of different individuals gets even worse when we have to spend long hours in the home during the winter burning some wood in the fireplace or when we have to shut the doors and windows in the house during the summer to prevent increased air conditioning costs.
According to research, individuals found living or working in places with a limited amount of ventilation can suffer from a condition referred to as “sick building syndrome.” This condition is known to be quite common among office workers.
The different symptoms of this condition include nausea, fatigue, headaches, throat irritation, and dizziness. In more serious cases of this condition, patients can suffer from asthma, bronchitis and even cancer.
The beautiful thing about everything is that the solution to this problem is quite simple. According to results of the NASA Clean Air Study, certain plants will prove extremely useful in ridding our homes and offices of these different pollutants.
According to science, there is clear evidence that certain plants are able to absorb toxic pollutants and gases such as benzene and even formaldehyde through the pores on their leaves. The process of utilizing these special plants to clean the air is referred to as phytoremediation.
The Science of Phytoremediation
Phytoremediation is considered as one of the best solutions to aid with the condition of indoor pollution. There are different major forms of phytoremediation such as:
- Phytostimulation: The improvement of the microbial activities of organisms in the soil to ensure the rapid degradation of contaminants and pollutants.
- Phytotransformation: This involves a chemical modification of the different substances in the soil, water, and air via plant metabolism.
- Phytovolatilization: This involves the removal of contaminants present in soil or water by the use of plants and the release of cleaner particles into the air by the process of transpiration.
Which Plants helps in Purifying the Air?
Research indicates the usefulness of indoor plants in the eradication of indoor pollution. According to research, indoor plants are able to eradicate up to 70 percent of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the air of the home.
There are different air purifying plants around the world. The list below comprises different indoor plants which can provide homes with fresher and cleaner air.
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera)
This is a very special plant with unique properties. Asides its healing properties, this plant will successfully filter out contaminants such as formaldehyde and benzene from your home. It doesn’t matter if you are a plant-person or not, the plant will grow easily when kept in a spot with a lot of sunlight.
Gerbera Daisies/African Daisies (Gerbera Jamesonii)
This is another special perennial plant just like the Aloe Vera. This plant has the ability to clean indoor air by eliminating carbon monoxide and benzene from the atmosphere. Gerber daisies sport very bright and colorful flowers.
Unlike aloe vera, they require special knowledge to be grown inside the house as they prefer to grow outdoors.
The beautiful flower originated from South Africa is to be grown in partial shade to full sun exposure. If you reside in the North, it will do you a lot of good to keep this flower in the full sun. However, if you stay in the south, the best option for you would be partial shade.
This plant is also very expensive. For proper growth, this plant requires a well-drained soil consisting of compost. Getting the plant will ensure that you breathe in cleaner air in the home.
Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)
This is an air purifying plant from the wonderful country of Madagascar. This plant is known for its ability to absorb benzene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde.
Homeowners with bright interiors should look into this plant. It sports very bold and arching fronds that can act as decoration. This plant is best purchased when it is at the table-top size. Take note that this plant will increase in height about six to ten inches annually and will grow as large as six to seven feet indoors and as much as 25 feet outdoors or at full maturity.
This plant is very useful for anyone trying to eliminate xylene from their house. Xylene is a chemical pollutant found in glue and paint.
This orchid was found in Australia and Southeast Asia. Take note that this plant will grow well even if you are not a gardener. In order to get the best results, these plants should be grown under full sunlight exposure. Covering them with any form of shade will prevent them from growing vertically.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
This plant is the best choice for you if you are suffering from a serious formaldehyde problem. The Boston fern is the best air purifying plant at absorbing formaldehyde. They are also very good at eliminating other pollutants from the air such as xylene and benzene. These pollutants can be found in paints, gasoline exhaust fumes and so on.
This special plant should be fed weekly during the summer and fed monthly during the winter. Homeowners should make sure to water these plants regularly to keep them growing well.
Spider Plant (Chlorohytum Comosum)
The spider plant is also referred to as the airplane plant. According to NASA, this plant is one of the top 3 best plants at the removal of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and other toxins from indoor air.
The spider plant is quite adaptable to different environments and requires only a limited amount of attention. They love to be grown in indirect but bright light with lots of water and well-drained soil. Misting this plant regularly will ensure that it is free of pests such as spider mites and aphids.
Snake Plants (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
This plant is also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue or viper’s bowstring. This plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family. It is commonly found in Nigeria and Congo.
This plant can remove about 107 different air pollutants such as chloroform, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, xylene, benzene, nitrogen monoxide, and trichloroethylene.
This plant has green bordered leaves. Its other species, the mother-in-law species is identified with yellow bordered leaves. It is a resistant plant that can be grown perfectly by non-gardeners. Homeowners should avoid watering the plant too much. This plant emits a good amount of oxygen and should be kept in the living areas of the house such as the bedroom.
Golden Pothos (Scindapsus Aures)
This plant combines its air-purifying properties with beauty. It is also regarded as a fast-growing plant. This plant bears a slight resemblance to the snake plant but is very good at formaldehyde absorption.
This plant requires no special lighting for growth and is relatively easy to maintain. However, this plant should be kept away from the reach of children. This plant has toxic parts that should not be consumed.
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)
This plant is quite colorful and can serve as an extra piece of interior décor. They are seasonal plants but when they bloom, they help to absorb benzene from the hair. Benzene is a carcinogen which is found in plastics, dyes, pesticides, and detergents.
This plant is also useful in the removal of other pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. All of these chemicals are found in cleaning agents.
This plant requires a good amount of sunlight for good growth. The best results are gotten when this plant is grown in an area of direct sunlight.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
This plant may look like an ornamental plant but you should never doubt its ability at absorbing VOCs. It is a very useful air purifying plant. It will help to absorb chemicals such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.
This plant will also especially help to eliminate mold spores. This makes it a perfect addition in bathrooms and kitchens. Peace lilies prefer low lighting conditions. This plant should also be kept away from the reach of small children. The leaves of the plant are considered to be toxic when swallowed.
Schefflera / Umbrella Tree (Brassaia Actinophylla)
This plant will easily be identified with its special physical features. This plant has oval-shaped glossy looking leaves that have a waxy appearance. They are very beautiful but can be quite poisonous. They should be kept far from the reach of pets and children.
The truth is just that Schefflera has been very effective in the absorption of benzene and toluene. It can be a very good addition to a smoker’s house.
Weeping Fig / Ficus Tree (Ficus Benjamina)
This special plant helps to remove common pollutants from the indoor air. Examples of these type of pollutants include trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene. This plant belongs to the family Moraceae found in Australia and Southeast Asia.
Take notice of where you keep this plant in the house as it can grow to unimaginable lengths of about 10-feet tall. The plant requires no special maintenance and can be grown under indirect light and well-drained soil.
Safety Concerns with Plants
Before you go ahead to buy any type of air purifying plant you have to look out for the safety of any person or pet that would be living in your house alongside the plant. Certain air purifying plants are known to grow as tall as ten feet tall, and would not fit into all houses. Keep the mature height of the air purifying plant in mind. When getting an air purifying plant, make sure you start very simply.
You also need to know that certain plants contain a certain amount of toxin. The use of these plants can be quite unsafe in any house filled with pets or children. Certain plants are capable of triggering allergies in humans and animals. So, make sure you look up the most compatible air purifying plant for your home.
Also, when shopping for an air purifying plant, always make sure to look for plants that are very easy to maintain. Getting a plant with easy maintenance would be very useful if you travel a lot or you are not used to gardening. Certain air purifying plants are effective but they may require some extra bits of care that may be unsuitable to your lifestyle.
What are different ways to Purify Air Indoors?
Asides plants, there are some quite simple ways to keep the air in your home safe for you and your family. These methods require less stress and maintenance. They include:
- Make sure you do not make use of any synthetic home cleaning agents or air fresheners. Always be on the lookout for more natural options. Make use of more natural options such as:
- White vinegar for cleaning mirrors, refrigerators, windows, kitchen and bathroom taps, shower heads, and microwave ovens.
- Baking soda for eliminating odors from carpets and removing coffee stains.
- Lemon for cleaning refrigerators, kitchen sinks, toilet bowls, and shower doors.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Natural soaps and shower gels
- Microfiber Cloths
- Make sure to use essential oils instead of synthetic air fresheners. Examples of this type of oils are as jasmine, rosemary, lavender, cinnamon, geranium, and lemon.
- Make use of candles made from bee wax. They serve as very good air purifiers by releasing negative ions into the air.
- Make sure to increase the level of ventilation in your home. You can do so by replacing narrow windows with wider ones, especially in your kitchen. You can also make use of exhaust fans to help you expel any possible pollutants.
- Regular vacuuming and mopping to keep the floor clean. A steam cleaner can be used for more effective cleaning and germ removal.
Air pollution is a very serious problem facing the world. A lot of people suffer from air pollution in their home, millions of residents across the globe. However, regardless of where you live, air purifying plants can be a very good asset for you. They would keep your indoor air fresh and clean.