Best Air Cleaning Plants Recommended By NASA
NASA conducted a study in late 80’s to determine the most effective plants that detoxify air in its apce station and also for filtering the air of toxic agents and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. As per NASA, our air contains Trichloroethylene, Formaldehyde, Benzene, Xylene, Ammonia which are very toxic elements. Plants are the best ways to filter these toxic agents. The reports also suggested that there should be at least one plant in every household and office.
Our air is contaminated with the following toxic agents. Let’s find out how they affect us:
Trichloroethylene: It is a halocarbon commonly used as an industrial solvent. It is said to be found in paints, varnishes, adhesives, paint removers, lacquers. When exposed in its presence, one might get a tinge of excitement, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomited. Sometimes, drowsiness occurs, and one might end up in the coma as well.
Formaldehyde: It is a naturally occurring organic compound. It pose a significant danger to human health. It is usually found in paper bags, waxed papers, plywood panelling, synthetic fibres, etc. The exposure in its air have following symptoms: Irritation to nose, mouth and throat, sometimes ends up in swelling of larynx and lungs.
Benzene: It is a very harsh chemical compound used in making plastics, lubricants, detergents. It is also found in tobacco smoke, glue and furniture wax. Exposure to benzene causes irritation to eyes, drowsiness, headache, confusion and sometimes unconsciousness.
Xylene: These are found in crude oil, gasoline, aircraft fuels, tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust. Exposure to such air includes symptoms like irritation to mouth and throat, dizziness, headaches, confusion. It might damage kidney and liver and one might end up in coma.
Ammonia: It is a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals products and is used in many commercial cleaning products. It is found in window cleaners, floor waxes, smelling salts and fertilizers. The symptoms associated with short-term exposure includes irritation in eyes, coughing and sore throat.
The plants that detoxifies such toxic agents and makes air clean are :
Pygmy Date Palm: It is a medium-sized, slow-growing slender tree that grows 2-3 metres. The leaves are 60-120 cm arranged in a single plane. It is a popular plant and is usually grown in cooler areas, usually as a houseplant. It helps in removing formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
Areca Palm: Also known as butterfly palm. It is a species of flowering plant and a native of Madagascar. They filter xylene and toluene from the air. The plant transpire 1 litre of water per 24 hours and is a very effective humidifier.
Banana plant: It is a herbaceous flowering plant. The peel of a banana plant has a capability to extract heavy metal contamination from river water. It helps in filtration of heavy metals occurring in water and fertilizer industry.
Weeping Fig: Also known as Ficus Benjamina is sold as Ficus in stores. It is a native to Asia and Australia. The plant is very sensitive to cold, and it grows too large. They have been shown to effectively remove gaseous formaldehyde from indoor air.
Aloe Vera: It is a succulent plant and basically used for decorative purpose but it has a lot of medicinal uses. It removes the presence of benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
Spider Plant: It is a native to tropical and southern Africa. These are beneficial in reducing indoor air pollution in the form of formaldehyde. It is a popular houseplant and grows to about 60 centimeters.
Chinese Evergreen: It is also known as Chamaedorea which means “ön the ground”. These are small plants, growing to 0.3-6m tall with slender, cane-like stems. It is a very popular house plants and is a good detoxifier of Benzene and formaldehyde.
Elephant ear philodendron: It is an arrow-shaped glossy leaf which grows to be 22 inches wide when mature. It is a commonly grown houseplant and has been shown to remove harmful chemicals from the air.
The other plants as indicated by the study done by NASA are Dumb Canes, Cornstalk Dracaena, Barberton daisy, Selloum philodendron.