Plants help purify the air inside houses. Here we tell you what plants you can have in your home, what are their properties and benefits for your health.
Photo: Pixabay, LatinAmerican Post
LatinAmerican Post | Erika Benitez
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Leer en español: 5 plantas que te ayudan a purificar el aire de tu casa
In addition to decorating our homes, plants have several health benefits. One of them is to help us reduce pollution levels in our homes, improving the quality of the air we breathe. During the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the environment and transform it into oxygen, necessary for human respiration. Some of them also manage to combat toxic gases and polluting substances found in rooms, on carpets, on the ground and in the air.
This idea dates back to the late 1980s with a study conducted by NASA, which they called Interior Landscape Plants For Air Pollution Abatement or NASA Clean Air Study. This sought to measure the ability of certain plants to purify the air, reducing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have a greater presence indoors than outdoors. Among these compounds are benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene that can be found in everyday objects such as paint, furniture, cleaning products, heating, electronic devices, construction materials and air fresheners.
Also read: Infographic: Climate Change: What Would be the Debt of the Countries for their CO2 Emissions?
More recent studies claim that in addition to photosynthesis, plants can remove toxins from the air, soil, and water. According to the research The Impact Study of Houseplants in Purification of Environment Using Wireless Sensor Network, developed in India, there are several indoor plants that manage to absorb more CO₂ and release more oxygen.
Although it is not the only way to keep the air we breathe clean, we show you a list of 5 useful plants to purify the environment and filter polluting substances.
1. Pothos (Epipremnum aereum)
It is a plant widely used in homes and very easy to get. Its high resistance and easy care have made it quite popular. It stays at temperatures between 17 and 30 degrees, and you only have to water it when you see that the earth is dry. It is a climbing plant that, in its natural environment, can measure up to 20 meters in height, and you can identify it by its leaves, which are heart-shaped. It is very useful for absorbing formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene.
2. Lily or flower of peace (Spathiphyllum):
The Lily or peace flower (Spathiphyllum) is special because it requires little light and water and helps reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air. According to the report presented by NASA, this plant is one of the most effective in removing CVOs present in the air, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. You can put it in a corner with little lighting, water it once a week, and it will help you purify the air around this area.
3. Aloe Vera or also known as Sabila
Aloe vera is one of the plants with the most medicinal properties and benefits that nature offers us. Likewise, it is known for its various uses in beauty and cosmetics. It is a plant that emits a large amount of oxygen and increases the longevity of life. As for its CO₂ absorption, aloe vera is great for lowering carbon dioxide levels.
4. Areca Palm
It is also known as bamboo palm, yellow palm, golden fruit palm or just Areca, we can see it outside or inside the houses. They are native to the tropical forests of Malaysia and the Solomon Islands, where a humid climate prevails, which is why they need regular and abundant watering to stay healthy. This plant manages to remove xylene and toluene from the air, converts a large amount of CO₂ to oxygen during the day, and continually removes chemical toxins from the air.
Four (shoulder height plants) per person in your home provides enough oxygen to survive in during the day. It is recommended to clean the dust and dirt from its leaves once a week.
Orchids, in addition to being beautiful and beneficial, represent a wide range of plants with more than 25 thousand species. They are one of the most popular and desired flowering plants to decorate homes. Likewise, they are capable of increasing the concentration of oxygen in the air in 24 hours. On the other hand, according to studies, orchids also eliminate xylene, a pollutant found in paints, and fill the room with fresh air, which is why they are a great option to have in your home.
Other actions that help improve the air in your home
- Use extractors in the kitchen and bathrooms to remove the polluting particles that accumulate in these places.
- If you can, use air purifiers, especially in bedrooms.
- Clean the filters of fans and air conditioners.
- Ventilating your house is very important, so open the windows constantly.
- Try to keep the leaves of your plants clean, this will help them to better absorb particles and toxins.
These recommendations will help you enjoy a safer environment for your health. Remember that your home should be an orderly and clean space. Closed and interior spaces tend to accumulate more pollutants than exteriors, so plants will be your great allies.