"Living Plants Purify the Air"
Indoor air contaminants from seemingly benign sources such as furniture, carpets, drapes, insulation, paint and office machines can cause a variety of symptoms including respiratory irritation, dizziness, headaches, skin irritations and rashes, nausea and vomiting. In fact, the EPA has issued a report stating that indoor air pollution may pose serious acute and chronic health risks with an economic impact of tens of billions of dollars per year.
However, a low-cost, attractive solution exists -- indoor plants!
Research conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that you can clean the air you breathe simply by placing live plants throughout your home and office.
NASA's studies concluded that common indoor plants can dramatically reduce toxic chemical levels in buildings with poor ventilation. NASA recommends placing 15 - 18 plants in an 1800 square foot area to clean and refresh the air.
Plants have been found effective in reducing the levels of common toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene (TCE).
Benzene is a common chemical found in many products including gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics and rubber. It is an additive in detergents, explosives, pharmaceuticals and dyes and has long been known as a skin and eye irritant.
Formaldehyde is found in virtually all indoor environments, including foam insulation, particle board and pressed wood products. It is used in consumer paper produts treated with resins, including grocery bags, waxed paper, facial tissues and paper towels. Most household cleaning agents contain formaldehyde. The EPA recently conducted research which shows that formaldehyde, which is an irritant to mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat, may cause a rare throat cancer in long-term occupants of mobile homes.
TCE is used in metal degreasing and dry-cleaning proceses. It is an ingredient in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives. The National Cancer Society considers TCE a potent liver carcinogen.
In the NASA study, plants which proved most effective as natural pollution fighters included many of those commonly used in interior plantscapes! Bromeliads, Bamboo Palm, Dracaena Marginata and Massangeana, Janet Craig, Spathiphyllum, Spider Plant, English Ivy, Poinsettia, Azalea, and Orchids lead the fight in effectively reducing levels of a number of noxious gases found in almost every home and office building.