Years ago I read a book called “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.” The book is very informative. It covers the various factors that contribute to our poor indoor air quality – everything from the 1973 OPEC oil embargo to new materials used for building, furnishings, and so on – and tells us which plants absorb and help neutralize the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being emitted from these materials. It’s very specific – tells you which plants are good for which compounds.
I lost my copy of the book in a move, and am definitely going to get another. The link above goes to Amazon.com if you’re interested in getting one.
What reminded me of this book is that I just read the results of a two-year study conducted by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) on house plants cleaning indoor air. They put each plant in sealed, Plexiglas chambers, injected chemicals into the chambers and monitored the results.
They came up with a list of the top 10 plants most effective in removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air. Here they are, with links to all but the most common few:
- Bamboo Palm – Chamaedorea Seifritzii
- Chinese Evergreen – Aglaonema Modestum
- English Ivy Hedera Helix
- Gerbera Daisy Gerbera Jamesonii
- Janet Craig – Dracaena “Janet Craig”
- Marginata – Dracaena Marginata
- Mass cane/Corn Plant – Dracaena Massangeana
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Sansevieria Laurentii
- Pot Mum – Chrysantheium morifolium
- Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum
- Warneckii – Dracaena “Warneckii”
Of course, you also want to do everything you can to keep the offending substances out of your home in the first place. At Naturepedic, we help you address this with our crib mattresses, which are certified by GREENGUARD so you know they aren’t contributing to the VOCs in your household.
Check out the NASA study, read the book, and load up on the right plants. And make sure your children and the kids in your friends’ and family’s households are protected with Naturepedic toddler and crib mattresses.