Many people are completely unaware of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that often inhabit the spaces of a home due to cigarette smoke, paint, furniture, etc.
If you’re looking to bring a bit of life into your home or office space, one of the best ways to go about doing so is by introducing plant life that will help purify the air you breathe. A new study regarding plants and their ability to purify air found that certain plants are better at it than others. Many people are completely unaware of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that often inhabit the spaces of a home due to cigarette smoke, paint, furniture, copiers and printers, different cleaning supplies and clothes that need to be dry-cleaned.
"Buildings, whether new or old, can have high levels of VOCs in them, sometimes so high that you can smell them," says Vadoud Niri, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry who led the new study. To reduce your risk of long-term health problems, you might want to look into getting one of these five plants for your living space:
While each of the five plants listed here did fairly well in removing acetone (the chemical largely found in nail polish remover) from the air, the Dracaena plant came out on top, absorbing a whopping 94 percent of gasses in the air (over a 12-hour study period) when compared to the other plants.
The Jade plant is a low-maintenance succulent that is symbolic of friendship, luck, and money. This plant was most effective at removing toluene (91 percent from the air), which is an odorous chemical mostly found in paint thinner.
This wonderful plant was very effective at removing chemicals that we often see in ink, rubber, adhesives, paint, and varnishes. Over the 12-hour study period, this plan absorbed 62 percent of ethylbenzene, 92 percent of p-Xylenes, and 93 percent of o-Xylene. It thrives in most environments, and there’s a good chance it’ll give you baby spider plants that you can pot if you’d like more.
Related to the pineapple, Bromeliad is best used to get rid of benzene in the air. Benzene is a toxic gas that comes from the exhaust of motor vehicles as well as cigarettes. It removed about 92 percent of Benzene from the air, as well as 80 percent of six of the other eight chemicals used in the study, which makes it the perfect plant for the home and workspace.
If you’re a fan of cacti, this is the plant for you. It does well with a good amount of sunlight, producing tiny flowers when it’s happy. While it did not receive top marks when compared to the other plants, it is still very effective in purifying the air around you. It removed about 80 percent of ethylbenzene, p-Xylenes, and acetone, and about 60 percent of benzene, toluene, and o-Xylene.
So, there you have it. Pick any one of these five plants and you can’t go wrong. Biofiltration is something that’s been studied since the ’80s. NASA even put together their own list of the plants they believe are best to have in your home!