Poor Indoor Air Quality? Try These Air-Filtering Houseplants!

We all know that houseplants brighten up your space and freshen up the air. But did you know that they actually have air-filtering properties that can help neutralize the effects of “sick building syndrome”? It’s true—NASA says so!

In fact, NASA put together this guide to air-filtering houseplants, which has been annotated and digested by Connor Macdonald at Lovethegarden.com. The guide is based on NASA’s Clean Air Study, which was conducted jointly with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) and was published in 1989.

The airborne toxins most commonly associated with sick building syndrome are:

  • Trichloroethylene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Xylene
  • Ammonia

The guide states, “Like most chemicals, the adverse health effects you may encounter depend on several factors, including the amount to which you are exposed, the way you are exposed, the duration of exposure and the form of the chemical.”

According to Macdonald, Florist’s Mum (a.k.a Chrysanthemum) was the most effective of the air-filtering houseplants, followed closely by the Peace Lily, “both shown to filter out amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia.”

If your indoor air quality could use some cleansing, now you know where to start!

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