Houseplants Are Natural Air Filters at Home
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Houseplants Are Natural Air Filters at Home

According to a paper presented at the recent American Chemical Society national meeting, there are houseplants that can safely clear the air of undesirables—particularly VOCs (volatile organic compounds)—a big source of pollutants in homes and offices.

VOCs are released from actively used and stored paints, cleaning and disinfecting products, cosmetics, pesticides, copiers and printers, permanent markers, glues, fuels, dry cleaned clothing and more. They can trigger eye, nose and throat irritation, asthma, allergies, headaches, dizziness, nausea, liver and kidney damage and are suspected or known to cause cancer.

When researchers tested the VOC-vanquishing powers of houseplants, they found Jade, Spider, Bromeliad, Dracena and Caribbean Tree Cactus plants scrubbed the air of VOCs as (or more) effectively than air filters. They all reduced air levels of acetone, with the dracaena filtering out 94 percent! The Jade plant was best against toluene. Bromeliads cleared out more than 80 percent of six of the eight VOCs tested. So move over Audrey II! Head researcher, Vadoud Niri, Ph.D., recommends an indoor garden that includes all five plants to make sure you clear the air most effectively. So do we.

Allergies

Allergies

About one out of five Americans suffers from allergies. An allergy is an exaggerated response from the immune system to a substance such as dust, pollen, pet dander or mold. Other common triggers include foods such as peanuts and ...

milk; insect bites; and certain ingredients in cosmetics and jewelry. Allergies can cause anything from rashes and hives to itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and wheezing.
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