Nothing beats the air of a crisp morning. We open our windows when this cool air rolls around, especially since the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the level of air pollutants inside our homes is far more than the level outside! Scientists at NASA are as concerned about these as we are since they find indoor air pollutants a nuisance in their spacecrafts (albeit pollutants are from different planet). Their research on ways to get rid of airborne pollutants in their spacecrafts revealed common offenders in American homes as well. They further found that 15 common indoor plants are perfect to filter these pollutants, some of them as harmful as carcinogens benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.

A quick glance will tell us how our homes are full of objects that contain these harmful compounds. Coating products, drapes and glues contain Formaldehyde; Trichloroethylene is commonly used in spot removers and other household products; and Benzene is an important component in paint supplies and tobacco smoke.

Thankfully, NASA research suggests pretty and easily available plants like Devil’s ivy, Peace lilies, Pleomele, Gerbera daisies and Sansevieria trifasciata more commonly called snake plant effective at cleaning these compounds. Ficus and Japanese aralia are also considered very effective in filtering the pollutants and keeping our indoors fresh and healthy for our families.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, an allergist at New York University School of Medicine suggests that keeping one indoor plant at roughly every 100 square feet of living space “…is a way to naturally clean the air”. So bring the greenery inside, liven up the corners of the house, and breathe healthy!

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