Did you know that indoor plants can benefit your health? Indoor plants bring cheer, soothing aesthetics, and blend with interior design of homes. Houseplants act as decorative pieces, talking points, and can even be combined with art and furniture for a lovely atmosphere. Increased residential teleworking is another reason to bring nature into the house. Physical health benefits are also attributable to indoor plants. Studies prove indoor plants improve air quality through various purification qualities.
The Science Behind The Benefits
The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) identified indoor air pollution within sealed space environments as an issue roughly forty-eight years ago. NASA realized, through a study in 1989, the necessity of bringing Earth’s ecological support system into space for astronaut survivability. The study revealed certain leaves, roots, soil, and associated microorganisms of plants are possible means of reducing indoor air pollutants.
An approach using plants to remove cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon was successful. The test screened benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and formaldehyde which are commonly located indoors. These indoor pollutants are also attributed to worsening asthma and allergies. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Indoor Allergen Committee reported that allergists consider indoor air filtration to be part of a comprehensive strategy to improve respiratory health. Another study in 2011 by Stanley J. Kays at the University of Georgia identified plant species, like Wolverton’s findings, to remove volatile organic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, and TCE. Plants of specific types possess the ability to lessen asthma problems and remove indoor pollutants. (Claudio 2011)
Wolverton’s studies in 1989, backed by several studies since, identified the top ten houseplants for air cleansing. The studies were based upon 1) Removal of Chemical Vapors, 2) Ease of Growth and Maintenance, 3) Resistance to Insect Infiltration, and 4) Transpiration Rates. Here is a list of the plants:
- Areca palm
- Lady palm
- Bamboo palm
- Rubber plant
- English ivy
- Dwarf date palm
- Boston fern
- Peace lily
Important To Note
It’s important to mention some plants are harmful to pets or if ingested. We recommend always reading the warnings and researching plants prior to purchasing and placing in your home! It’s essential to read the best living conditions and proper care for the plants. Another air purification honorable mention is the Spider Plant. (Joy 2020) Plants’ health benefits, tied to their interior design appeal, should be considered key elements in any household.
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