Isn’t nature great? It does so many wonderful things that we don’t even notice and it helps to keep the earth healthy.
It’s common knowledge that plants breath in carbon dioxide and breath out oxygen, a process that then reverses at night.
But did you also know that certain plants also help to remove harmful substances from the air around us?
Obviously these substances aren’t instant killers, but they can cause irritation to the lungs, especially for people with asthma and other related illnesses.
These are commonly known as Volatile Organic Compounds and include acetone, benzene and formaldehyde. They can come from many different sources such as printers and copiers or even dry-cleaned clothes.
They are more likely to occur in spaces with little airflow and are undetectable to the human eye. Sometimes however, if they build up enough they can be smelt.
NASA has conducted a lot of research into VOCs and how plants can remove them from the air, as they have an interest in improving air quality in enclosed spaces.
Five examples of these are Jade, Spider Plants, Caribbean Tree Cactus, Dracaena and Bromeliad.
These plants were all able to filter out a lot of acetone from the atmosphere, with the Dracaena showing the best results.
Jade was especially good at removing toluene and the Bromeliad was able to filter a incredible eight different VOCs!
This is great knowledge to have because it allows us to use plants to make the air around our families and ourselves cleaner.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, interior air was lot more polluted that outside air, considering there was less space for it to move about in.
Using plants to clean the air is great as it is cheap and will definitely brighten up any home!