Friday, January 28, 2011

Indoor plants help reduce VOCs

When I learn something new and cool about plants, I like to share it. So here is some info I learned about indoor plants recently.

Most of us know that one of the benefits of houseplants is that they remove carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with oxygen. But I didn't realize that some plants can actually help remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air.

Volatile organic compounds are gases released as materials age and degrade over time. VOCs are found in everything from paints and coatings to underarm deodorant and cleaning fluids and they are thought to cause allergic reactions such as asthma, headaches, upper respiratory infections, rashes and even cancer.

Nearly 25 years ago, Dr. Wolverton, a retired NASA scientist and author of How to Grow Fresh Air, published a study touting the benefits of houseplants as air purifiers. In November 2002, Dr. Wolverton confirmed the results of further researchers and added “there is now sufficient evidence to support the concept of using interior plants to provide good IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)”

Here are some common toxins and the plants that can help remove them:  


 Source of Toxins:

Detergents, Inks and Dyes, Plastics, Rubber Products, Petroleum Products, Synthetic Fibers, Tobacco Smoke  

Plants Associated with the Removal of those Toxins:

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), Dracaena spp., Gerbera (Gerber Daisy), Hedera spp. (Ivy), Chrysanthemum (mum), Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)  


Source of Toxins:

Carpeting, Cleaners, Foam Insulation, Furniture, Paper Products, Plywood and Particle Board

Plants Associated with the Removal of those Toxins:

Ficus spp. (Weeping Fig), Philodendron spp., Chlorophytum (Spider Plant), Sansevieria (Snake Plant), Chamaedorea (Bamboo Palm), Hedera spp.(Ivy), Epipremnum (Golden Pothos)


Source of Toxins:

Adhesives, Dry cleaning, Inks and Dyes, Lacquers and Paints, Paper Products, Varnishes

Plants Associated with the Removal of those Toxins:

Dracaena spp., Gerbera (Gerber Daisy), Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), Chrysanthemum (mum)

For more information:

15 Houseplants You Can Use as Air Purifiers

15 Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

1 comment:

  1. Computers and other electronic equipment are also a source of toxins, and certain plants such as the peace lily are known to reduce these.


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