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The Natural Air Purifier

January 12, 2016 by Amy Lenning, Account Manager

Did you know that each breath we take can be filled with a mixture of toxins? Lurking in air molecules that we inhale each day are many things, some of which are:

Formaldehyde

  • Found in carpet, upholstery, glues, paints, waxed paper, facial tissue, paper towels and more
  • Irritates the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat
  • S. National Toxicology Program labeled it a human carcinogen in 2011

 

Benzene

  • Found in plastics, synthetic fibers, lubricants, rubber, pesticides and more
  • Irritates the skin and eyes, and evidence suggests it may contribute to leukemia

 

Trichloroethylene

  • Found in paint removers, rug cleaners, adhesives and more
  • The National Cancer Institute considers this chemical to be a potent liver carcinogen

 

To help counteract the adverse effects of these chemicals and many others lurking in the air, it is vital to incorporate plants in your living and work spaces. NASA completed the Clean Air Study in 1989 and determined that many houseplants can remove 87 percent of pollutants in a mere 24 hours. They are truly nature’s very own air purifiers. Here is a list of plant options:

  • Dracaena – comes in all shapes, sizes and color and is excellent at removing benzene
  • Bamboo Palm – a larger indoor plant, can grow 3-6 feet high and as a bonus, adds moisture to a room
  • English Ivy – easy to grow and does well in low light; recommended to remove allergens like mold and animal smells
  • Areca Palm – rated the most efficient air purifier in the NASA Clean Air Study
  • Rubber Plant – for those wanting a tropical look, especially good at removing formaldehyde
  • Peace Lily – white blooms for added beauty, in one day it can remove about a fourth of airborne toxins
  • Snake Plant – needs minimal light, removes benzene and formaldehyde, and produces oxygen at night so a great fit for bedrooms
  • Aloe – absorbs carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide

 
With continued exposure over the course of six weeks, plants have been shown to double their purification capacity. To make your plants work even harder for you, leave a bit of the soil exposed so air can circulate under the leaves and increase toxin removal.

The full NASA Clean Air Study can be found here. For help selecting the right plant for your home or office, visit us online or give us a call at 515.987.0800.

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