In the late 1980s, NASA conducted a study aimed at finding the most effective plants for removing toxic agents and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen in space stations. This study was born out of the need to detoxify the air in these closed environments, where astronauts spent extended periods. In 1989, the results of the study were published in a report titled “Clean Air Study,” which listed the plants that were most effective at cleaning indoor air.

According to the report, some of the best plants for filtering the air in your home or office include Dwarf Date Palm, Boston Fern, Kimberly Queen Fern, Spider Plant, Chinese Evergreen, Bamboo Palm, Weeping Fig, Devil’s Ivy, Flamingo Lily, Lilyturf, Broadleaf Lady Palm, Barberton Daisy, Cornstalk Dracena, English Ivy, Varigated Snake Plant, Red-Edged Dracaena, Peace Lily, and Florist’s Chrysanthemum.

These 18 plants can help purify the air in your home

The study recommends having at least one plant per every hundred square feet of space in your home or office. These plants can help eliminate toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, which are commonly found in indoor environments.

In addition to filtering the air, these plants can also improve indoor humidity levels, reduce noise levels, and even improve our mood and productivity. Whether you’re looking to improve the air quality in your home or office or just want to add some greenery to your space, incorporating these plants into your decor can be a great way to achieve both goals.

Common indoor air pollutants and their associated short-term symptoms

  • Trichloroethylene is found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, and paint removers. Short-term exposure can cause symptoms such as excitement, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and coma.
  • Formaldehyde is found in paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, plywood paneling, and synthetic fabrics. Short-term exposure can cause irritation to the nose, mouth, and throat, and in severe cases, swelling of the larynx and lungs.
  • Benzene is used to make plastics, resins, lubricants, detergents, and drugs. It is also found in tobacco smoke, glue, and furniture wax. Short-term exposure can cause symptoms such as irritation to the eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, an increase in heart rate, confusion, and in some cases, unconsciousness.
  • Xylene is found in rubber, leather, tobacco smoke, and vehicle exhaust. Short-term exposure can cause symptoms such as irritation to the mouth and throat, dizziness, headache, confusion, heart problems, liver and kidney damage, and coma.
  • Ammonia is found in window cleaners, floor waxes, smelling salts, and fertilizers. Short-term exposure can cause symptoms such as eye irritation, coughing, and a sore throat.

Disclaimer: It is worth noting that some of the plants recommended by NASA for air purification may be toxic to pets. Therefore, if you have furry friends at home, it is important to do your research and ensure that the plants you choose are safe for them. Also, it may be a good idea to see a doctor if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms listed above.

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