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Household plants can help make any room seem more like home. Whether hung from a hanging basket, thoughtfully placed in a corner, or sitting on a windowsill, plants make any environment brighter. But did you know that household plants can also make the indoor air you breathe in healthier?
Back in 1989, NASA scientist B.C. "Bill" Wolverton carried out a study called The NASA Clean Air Study. Through this study, he conducted experiments to see if common household plants were able to purify the air of toxins. The findings were then released under a report titled "Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement," and the discoveries were fascinating. Wolverton concluded that many household plants did indeed hold the power to eliminate harmful toxins, such as formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and others. And although these names may not be part of your everyday vernacular, they are found virtually everywhere — plastics, rubbers, carpeting, glues, cleaning products, the list goes on. But how exactly does this happen?
"Plants filter the air in two ways — both physically and chemically," said Christopher Satch, head of plant science and education at The Sill. "Plants physically filter the air by acting as a dust cling. Living beings are statically charged and actually pull the dust out of the air. Ever notice how dusty your plants get compared to other objects? That's them doing a good job! Reward your plant by wiping it down so that it can cling more."
"Additionally, plants clean the air chemically," Satch said. "The objects that we interact with — computers, plastics, rubbers, paints, anything synthetic — breaks down over time and releases VOCs into the air like benzene and formaldehyde, which we breathe in. Plants literally rip these nasty compounds apart and turn them into inert CO2, water, and nitrogen gas. It's important to have plants in the home not only to improve your mental health and boost creativity, but also your physical health as well. Bear in mind that you will need several plants to be really effective."
If you are interested in learning more about the best plants to purchase to help purify your household air, then look no further. We pored over the NASA studies, looked through research, and connected with the brilliant plant experts at The Sill to help put together a list of 15 amazing air-purifying plants you can purchase today. Your urban oasis is just a click away.