Air pollution extends far beyond industries and manufacturing plants. The consequences of rapid urban development have plagued the air we breathe, and this is true for the air quality in most homes.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that despite our efforts to clean the atmosphere during the late 1900s, air pollution and greenhouse gases continue to remain a risk factor for public health. These gases are released by human activities that are very diverse in nature. They are a necessary evil without which modern life will simply cease to exist. It is a by-product of civilization.
The undeniable truth is that indoor air pollutants have become a big problem for modern homes, and while we cannot significantly alter the environment on our own, there are a few small changes we can adopt to protect our health.
Altering the Environment with Plants and Flowers
Most homeowners are not aware of the air purifying properties that many plants possess. They are inexpensive, complement interior decors, and are widely available. These plants provide your family with air that is relatively free of harmful gases and viruses. The idea of using plants to regulate the quality of air indoors was first studied by NASA. They wanted to provide clean air to astronauts during their long and drawn out journeys in outer space.
During their initial phases of study, NASA learnt that houseplants can be used to control the environment and filter out many harmful agents that plague ambient air and make it harder for us to breathe.
This kickstarted a trend where many houses studded their homes with flowers, plants, and everything green in between to regulate air. Let’s discuss some of these plants that you can easily find at your nearby local flower market.
NASA recommends using peace lilies to remove the most potent air pollutants in our atmosphere; these include formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. Peace lilies can be used to filter out toluene and xylene with relatively high effectiveness. What makes the peace lily such an obviously good choice for most homeowners is that it requires little in the way of maintenance.
It’s easy to know that the plant is thirsty once it starts dropping – a sign that it is dehydrated and needs water.
The peace lily looks enthralling due to the tall white flowers that proudly stick out in the background. The only caution is that its leaves are toxic to humans when ingested. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
This plant is a top contender when it comes to filtering out formaldehyde, a common cleaning agent used in toilet paper and personal care products. The snake plant should be ideally placed in your bathroom because it thrives in low light, warm, and humid conditions. You would want to place a couple of snake plants in your bedrooms.
What most people will find interesting to note is that snake plants give out oxygen at night and absorb carbon dioxide. This makes them an ideal choice to share your room with.
Most people will know of aloe vera as a sunburn soother, but this wonderful plant also doubles as an air purifier. It works by absorbing chemicals from many cleaning products. A great feature of aloe vera plants is how they start turning brown once the ambient air becomes highly polluted with dangerous chemicals.
Think of aloe vera plants as your own little litmus test to quantitatively measure the quality of air in your rooms.
Purple Waffle Plant
They might look a little bland at first, but their performance more than makes up for their appearance. Scientists at the University of Georgia found that purple waffle plants were one of the best air purifiers among 28 indoor decorative plants they tested. These plants also require very little in the way of maintenance.
NASA rated areca palm tree pumps as the eighth best plant when it comes to removing formaldehyde. A unique feature to areca palm is its ability to restore moisture in dry humid conditions. In fact, the areca palm’s humidifying properties are comparable to a commercial grade electric humidifier. This ability to seamlessly regulate different parts of the air makes the areca palm an obvious choice.
It is very pleasing to the eyes, and most homeowners will never go wrong with the areca plant.
These plants have characteristically thick, deep green leaves. They are highly effective at absorbing formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzene from the air. On the flipside, they also look aesthetically pleasing and contribute to the interior décor. They do require a lot of light and water, those deep green leaves aren’t going to water themselves!
Also, the rubber plant is poisonous when consumed, so parents are advised to keep them out of reach of pets and children
Using Air Masks
Now that you have purified your rooms with plants, it is time to complement your efforts with N99 air masks. These masks go a long way in filtering out incredibly minute PM 2.5 particles and provide your lungs with clean air. Click here to learn more about N99 masks and get incredible discounts!