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Go Green & Breathe Easy

Indoor plants may look like they’re just collecting dust or taking up space, but did you know that they are busy working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? They are working full time to clean the air in your home. Plants are Mother Nature’s air purifiers.

Plants Eliminate Toxins

Years ago NASA conducted a thorough study of houseplants and rated the top 10 plants for eliminating toxins and carcinogens inside your home. The most common toxins inside the home are:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Formaldehyde is used in everything from foam insulation to paper towels and many common household cleaning agents. Fire retardants and adhesive binders in floor coverings and carpet backings all contain formaldehyde. Cigarette smoke and heating fuels such as natural gas also make the list. Benzene is another carcinogen to be on the lookout for. Benzene can be found in gasoline, inks, oils, plastics and paints. It is also used in the manufacturing of detergents, dyes and pharmaceuticals.

What is TCE and where is it found? If you’re thinking all this is enough to make a person sick you’d be right. It actually has a name and it’s called Sick Building Syndrome. Studies have found Sick Building Syndrome is responsible for contributing to everything from headaches, respiratory difficulties like asthma or allergies and more importantly – certain cancers. Think about it…if you live in a well insulated home -the quality of your indoor air can be much more polluted than outdoor air. Up to ten times more unhealthy.

Don’t despairthere is a solution to this chemical assault in our homes, and it’s simple: add some Houseplants. NASA researchers suggest at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space should be used to efficiently cleanse the air. All living plants will take in carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. They all purify the air, however there are certain plants that are more efficient at it. The following is a list of clean air plants you should consider adding to your home to purify your living space:

LOW LIGHT:                                   MEDIUM LIGHT:                          BRIGHT LIGHT:             

Chinese Evergreen                         Janet Craig                                       Peace Lily

English Ivy                                       Snake Plant                                      Roebellini Palm

Philodendron                                  Golden Pothos                                Spider Plant

Hopefully, the next time you look at a houseplant you will appreciate all it has to offer. They are so much more than a way to dress up your décor. Houseplants literally increase the quality of your life, so “go green” and breathe easier. Discover the healing properties of plants.

    Kristi Voli,
Cross Creek Nursery