Indoor plants & air pollution

by Caroline Brown

In the last few years there's been some buzz about "sick building syndrome" and the possibility that certain house plants that help clean indoor air. Some websites are careful to stress that the link between houseplants and indoor air pollution has not been properly established via research. But it can't hurt to load up on houseplants just in case!
It has been said that some houseplants thrive on chemicals like formadehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, and that they help remove these omnipresent chemicals from indoor air. Formaldehyde is used to make everything from carpet backing to paper products to cleaning agents; benzene is used in petroleum products such as plastics, paint, and rubber. And trichloroethylene is used in dry cleaning, varnishes, and laquers.

You don't have to buy exotic houseplants, either–most can be found at your local nursery. An old post on Treehugger says that peace lily, bamboo palm, English ivy, mums, and gerbera daisies are good indoor air-cleaners. The University of Minnesota's Extension Services adds several varieties of philodendrons, dracaenas, and spider plants.

Can't hurt to try these–I just have to make sure to keep them away from my cats.


2 Comments to “Indoor plants & air pollution”

  1. I was out looking for some info to keep aloes indoors. They do need a lot of light, but they need very little water and need no care while you go on holiday. That is a very good point in getting indoor plants. Not poisonous to your cat (I breed cats) – not that I ever found a cat trying to taste an aloe.
    I must surf along. It was interesting to read your blog. nice short to the point.

  2. Good tip on aloe plants. Anything I can keep my cats out is worth a try. Thanks for surfing by.

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