INDOOR PLANTS THAT CAN IMPROVE AIR QUALITY

Air pollution (indoor and outdoor) is aggravating because of various anthropogenic activities that lead to various respiratory diseases, stroke, and lung cancer and is a common killer. However, we are not well aware of the fact that Indoor Air Quality is one of the top five environmental risks to public health according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and is much worse than outdoor air quality. The most common indoor pollutants include asbestos, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke, mold, bacteria, dust bacteria, Radon-222, carbon mono-oxide to name a few. Ventilation and air purification are important means to improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Indoor air pollutants lead to irritation of eyes, nose, throat, headache, dizziness, etc., thus enhancement of indoor air quality is essential. NASA Clean Air Study was published long back in 1989 that suggested houseplants for improving indoor air quality. Here, we thus bring a list of the topmost 10 plants available in India to improve indoor air quality. 

1.      Areca Palm: This plant is ranked as the topmost purifying plant in NASA’s study and is commonly used in both home and office and get rid of toxins like benzene, xylene, etc. It needs plenty of water for its growth. 

2.      Aloe Vera: A marvel medicinal plant we all well know of, it is a common indoor plant that eliminates formaldehyde and benzene. Aloe vera is a succulent plant, easy to grow, need direct sunlight and should be irrigated sparingly.

3.      Bamboo palm: NASA ranked this palm on third place in improving indoor air quality. It requires a shady place to grow and transpires moisture. 

4.      Money plant: it is a well known and recognizable plant that can be kept in the bedroom and suggested by NASA to remove volatile organic compounds. Feng Shui experts propose that money plants can reduce stress and anxiety and bring fortune and richness and can be positioned in a shady place. 

5.      Mother in Law’s Tongue: known as the Snake plant, is a succulent plant that grows in full and dim sunlight. Like money plant, snake plant too can be placed in the bedroom and produces oxygen in the night and purifies the air. It removes about 107 pollutants including benzene and formaldehyde.

6.      Rubber plant: NASA purifying score for this plant is 8 and removes formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds. It also represses microorganisms present in the air. It needs less light to cultivate.

7.      Boston fern: the purifying score for this plant is 7.5 and requires direct sunlight. This fern expels mold and toxins including formaldehyde and heavy metals like mercury and arsenic from soil. 

8.      Peace Lily: Peace lily is an efficient killer with purifying score of 7.5. Its large leaves remove benzene, trichloroethylene and are efficient toxin killer. It improves air quality by 60% and requires a well-lit area to grow. 

9.      Chrysanthemum: This seasonal plant is also ranked highest to lessen air pollution especially toxins and ammonia. It prefers to grow in damp soil. 

10.  Philodendron: it is a tropical plant that removes the ubiquitous pollutant formaldehyde. It is easy to take care of and has attractive foliage.

 Besides these, you can also consider other plants like lady palm, dwarf date palm, weeping fig, red-edged Dracaena as air purifiers. By growing these plants, you can not only accomplish your hobby but can make your home safe for your loved ones.

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