Purify Your Air: Plants that naturally detoxify your home
In the previous article we outlined why we should reduce our toxin exposure. Now we are going to look at practical applications for reducing toxin exposure, starting with purifying the air in your home.
Recent advances in energy efficiency has led to homes becoming much better at keeping heat/air in the home, whilst this is great for our bills and reducing energy consumption it reduces the flow of air in our homes, often trapping more of the chemicals that are given off by furniture, cleaning products, building materials, treated wood etc.
In a study conducted by NASA it was shown that certain plants had the ability to reduce up to 87% of toxins in the air in just 24hours. The research conducted focused on 3 different types of chemicals:
There are a variety of sources that can contribute to the exposure of the above chemicals and more in your home, these include:
- Industrial chemicals
- Synthetic fabrics
- Nail Poish
- Hair Products
- Air fresheners
It is highly unlikely you are going to be exposed to a dose that will cause immediate symptoms, however the exposure of low levels of many toxic compounds is something that has not been well studied and has been well hypothesised that in combination the toxic effects can overburden the function of the liver, thus causing the effects stated in the previous article.
My Top 5 Purifying Plants
1. Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) – Shown to detoxify many air contaminants but particularly good at clearing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
2. Hedera Helex (English Ivy) - a good detoxifier as it efficiently filters formaldehyde aerosols and fecal particles from the air.
3. Philodendrons - The two most efficient kinds of philadendron are the Heartleaf philodendron and the Elephant Ear Philodendron. Philadendrons are excellent at removing formaldehyde, especially so at higher concentrations.
4. Gerbera Jamesonii (Gerbera Daisy) – Not only is this my wife’s favourite flower, the Gerbera also has air filtering properties. It is most suitable for removing benzene (a carcinogen) and trichloroethylene from the air.
5. Dracaena marginata (Red-edged dracaena) - The Dracaena marginata removes not only benzene and formaldehyde from the air, but also xylene and toluene . Other air filtering Dracaenas include Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii'), Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig'), Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans 'Massangeana').
Please be aware that some of these plants are poison’s, always make sure they are safe for your children and pets.