Plants that filter indoor air

A NASA study led by Dr. Wolverton and completed in 1989 once again revealed the power of God’s creation for health.  The study, which began in the 1960s to investigate sealed living spaces like space stations and biodomes, found that a variety of house plants can vastly improve the quality of air in poorly ventilated spaces.   It turns out that while the plants are a key component to the filtering, they primarily serve as homes for friendly bacteria that live in the plants’ root systems.

When exposed to toxins in the air (which concentrate indoors due to synthetic building materials and poor ventilation), bacteria make microevolutionary adaptations to use the toxins they encounter as fuel.  Amazing!  The longer the same plants (and their bacteria) are exposed to toxins in a particular environment, the better they became at filtering those toxins.
plants that filter airVarious house plants host different bacteria.  The type of bacteria hosted determines the type of toxins filtered.  Below is a list of common chemicals/toxins and the house plants that effectively filter them:

Trichlorethylene (a carcinogenic solvent, commonly found in water – thus emitted into the air when hot water is used): Peace Lily, Marginata, Bamboo Palm, and Janet Craig.

Benzene (a carcinogenic petrochemical commonly found in the air and manufactured products): Gerbera Daisy, Pot Mum, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Warneckei, Peace Lily, and Marginata.

Formaldehyde (a carcinogenic, highly toxic, and very prevalent organic chemical): Bamboo Palm, Janet Craig, Marginata, Green Spider Plant, and English Ivy.

Click here to read the entire NASA report.

Beside their air filtering qualities, house plants can brighten up your living environment, provide a lovely fragrance, and put a smile on your face!  We were made to be outside, but we often spend more time indoors than we care to admit.   So, if you don’t already have a few house plants, bring a little piece of God’s creation indoors – it will benefit your health!

Originally posted 2011-09-09 19:38:00.