Indianapolis Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Protective Plants

Indoor Greenery Removes Airborne Toxins

antpkr/Shutterstock.com

Along with naturally beautifying a home, many indoor plants help purify air quality often contaminated by chemicals found in common household products and furnishings. A recent study by the State University of New York at Oswego found that bromeliads absorbed up to 80 percent of pollutants from volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted by paint, furniture, printers, dry-cleaned clothes and other household products. Other plants that scored highly for purifying the air of VOCs in airtight container tests were dracaena and spider plants (ScienceAlert.com). In related news, peace lilies have been shown to be effective in reducing airborne ammonia.

NASA scientists have discovered that Boston fern, rubber plants, English ivy, devil’s ivy, peace lily, mum and gerbera daisies help clear the air of the formaldehyde often used in insulation, carpeting and particleboard furniture. (RodalesOrganicLife.com)

Environmental scientist B.C. Wolverton’s book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office cites ferns as another good plant for removing formaldehyde from the home. Ferns are nontoxic, making them good indoor plants for pet owners per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Indoor levels of formaldehyde can also be reduced by potting areca palm, amstel king ficus and weeping fig plants, according to MotherEarthLiving.com. The website also cites how dragon tree plants can help remove xylene (used in solvents), trichloroethylene (found primarily in adhesives) and toluene (a solvent and gasoline additive) from the air.

Beyond improving air quality, indoor plants also boost ambient oxygen levels, lower mold counts and serve as a natural humidifier and mood enhancer.


This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Social and Eco-Conscious Investing and Buying Choices

Awaken Indy has looked into investment companies in the local area that have built their business models around socially conscious approaches to investing.

Local Business Partners with Charitable App to Support Fair Trade

The locally owned nonprofit organization, with four locations in Indiana and Ohio, recently partnered with the RoundUp App to offer its customers a great way of giving back and supporting international artisans and vendors.

Retreat in Fishers Offers Path of Connection for Couples

Laura Rain, of Soul Evolve, will host a Couples One Day Intimacy Retreat on February 23 at the Prairie Guest House and Sage Studio, in Fishers.

Beat the Chill and Get Inspired

The winter months often come with chilly temperatures, but if you’re already thinking ahead to spring, come in from the cold and check out ideas to spruce up your home when the weather breaks.

Walk the Talk Kicks Off 2019 Series

The Walk the Talk Speaker Series will present Manifest: Anything Is Possible at 7 p.m. on February 20 at The Athenaeum in the Basille Theatre, in Indianapolis.

Add your comment: