Nature's Air Filters



Did you know that there are a number of indoor plants that can help improve the air quality of your home?

NASA, along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) conducted a clean air study on plants that may provide a natural way of removing certain toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde that often come from a number of manufactured items we place in our homes and offices (carpets, mattresses, etc.). The study looked at ways these plants might be effective at neutralizing the effects of sick building syndrome (SBS).

SBS has a lengthy list of symptoms such as the following -

* Headache
* Eye, nose, or throat irritation
* Dry cough; dry or itchy skin
* Dizziness and nausea
* Difficulty in concentrating
* Fatigue
* Sensitivity to odours
* Increased incidence of asthma attacks/appearance of asthma in non-asthmatics
* Personality changes such as rage/weeping/paranoia/depression
* Putative cases of bronchitis or pneumonia which do not respond to antibiotic treatment
* Symptoms resembling Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This is just a shortened list of the 50 symptoms usually associated with SBS. Indoor pollution does take a toll on our immune system and overall well-being. With the recent concern over the use of ionic air filters and the issue that they may cause ozone pollution, it may be worth it to invest in plants that will not only help clean the air but make your home beautiful.

If you have pets that like to nibble on greens, please make sure you purchase safe/non-toxic plants.

List pulled from

This list of air filtering plants was compiled by NASA as part of the NASA Clean Air Study, which researched ways to clean air in space stations. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, as all plants do, these plants also eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene.

Most of the plants on the list evolved in tropical or subtropical environments. Due to their ability to flourish on reduced sunlight, their leaf composition allows them to photosynthesize well in household light.

The recommendation of NASA is to use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers in a 1,800 square-foot house. The amount of exposed surface soil is also important, as microorganisms in the soil consume trace amounts of airborne toxins as well.

* English Ivy (Hedera helix)
* Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
* Golden pothos or Devil's ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)
* Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')
* Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
* Bamboo or reed plant (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
* Snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
* Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)
* Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum)
* Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
* Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
* Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans 'Massangeana')
* Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig')
* Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii')
* Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
* Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
* Pot Mum or Florist's Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
* Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

More information can be found at the following site -

Jeanette Lee Hada

Primary Links

Maintenance by


Recent Posts

February 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29