Air purifying plants – facts and myths

Air purifying plants – facts and myths
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There has been a lot of talk lately about plants purifying the air. Unfortunately, much of this information is myths that have nothing to do with reality. Before you decide to buy specific plants, check carefully to see if they will actually help clean the air in your home.

Facts about air-purifying plants

Plants help get rid of air pollutants

The air, especially in large metropolitan areas, is heavily polluted. All because of smoke rising from furnaces, but also car exhaust. Unfortunately, people living in big cities are exposed to this kind of pollution. Chemical substances are not only found outside

Even at home, there are health risks, such as formaldehyde in furniture glue. Cigarette smoking and the use of office machines release volatile substances such as acetone, toluene and benzene. Plants, especially those with large leaves, greatly improve indoor air quality. During photosynthesis, they take in both oxygen and carbon dioxide. This process takes place in the stomata, which are contained in the leaves. Thanks to them, you can experience significantly better air quality.

Pro-healthy effects of plants confirmed by NASA

The American Space Agency NASA has done a study on the effect of plants on air quality. The experiment took place in 1989. According to it, NASA distinguished 18 species of plants that particularly affect air quality.

They are:

  • horsetail,
  • low date palm,
  • the Sternberg’s green plant,
  • bamboo palm,
  • the Nephrolepis loosestrife,
  • sansewieria guinea,
  • raspberry,
  • jameson’s gerbera,
  • fragrant dracaena,
  • ivy,
  • chrysanthemum multiflorus.

These plants absorbed the most pollutants from the air, but it should also be remembered that the tests performed by NASA took place in laboratory conditions. You have to take a correction for it, because in the natural environment there can be much more harmful substances, and plants will not be able to filter them 100%.

It is also important to remember that most of the flowers listed have detoxifying effects, but are also poisonous to humans and animals. If you have a four-legged dog or small child, these will not be suitable for your home.

Green walls can help clean the air in your home

There are many companies that offer to make a so-called green wall, on which you can place different species of plants. It is suitable, for example, for a terrace or balcony.

Especially recommended are such flowers as:

  • horsetail – it filters very well, among others, ammonia, alcohols, benzene and acetone, as well as harmful substances such as xylene and formaldehyde, it also gives off a lot of moisture;
  • sternberg’s herbaceous plant – ideally able to remove toxins from the air, including xylene and formaldehyde, plus it’s multi-colored leaves make it an ideal decoration for a balcony or patio;
  • golden epipremnum – not only does it delight with its beautiful appearance, but also acts as an air purifier, eliminates among others formaldehyde, as well as all the poisonous substances that are found in tobacco, so it is the perfect solution for the balcony for smokers, it climbs like ivy and is quite easy to care for and cultivate;
  • anthuriums – are decorative and especially notable for their showy flowers and glossy leaves

Myths about air-purifying plants

Plants are ideal for all pollutants

Plants, although they are very strong contributors to air purification, unfortunately will not provide us with 100% purity. They can be completely ineffective against the dangerous parts of smog, namely particulate matter. A green wall will not be an effective protection if it only covers the entrance door to the terrace, but plants will no longer be placed in the windows. They will certainly partially trap dangerous compounds, but not all of them. If you want to fully clean the air, invest in an air purifier with a carbon filter and a HEPA filter.

It only takes a few plants to clean the air in your home

To fully purify the air in your home, you will need more than just a few plants. It is a good idea to equip your home with as many plants as possible. You will need one plant per 10 square meters to make a real difference in air quality. Many people therefore opt for so-called vertical gardens, which don’t take up much space but will give the expected effect

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