Many chemicals found in the synthetic materials used in the construction of residential and commercial office buildings have been proved to cause what is known as "sick building syndrome." Sufferers typically report runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, headache, fatigue and dizziness as a result of the release of these pollutants in the air. Three chemicals in particular--formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene--are responsible for the pollution in indoor environments. Fortunately, certain houseplants are excellent in absorbing harmful gases and filtering the air inside. Among the houseplants noted as the best plants for reducing the pollution in homes and offices are the English ivy, peace lily, bamboo palm, golden pathos and green spider plant.
Best Plants for Removing Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is used in building materials such as foam insulation and particleboard. Plants that have been proved to be superior in removing this pollutant from the indoor air include the bamboo palm, golden pathos and green spider plant.
Best Plants for Eliminating Benzene
Benzene is a solvent typically found in paints and oils. Plants such as the English ivy, peace lily and bamboo palm are excellent at filtering the allergens this chemical produces in homes and offices.
Best Plants for Filtering Trichloroethylene
Trichloroethylene is a chemical used in the manufacture of varnishes, inks, adhesives and paints. Select houseplants that have proved to be dependable in removing this contaminant from the air include the bamboo palm and peace lily.
Other First-Rate Plants
Other plants shown to be exceptional in cleaning indoor air include the heartleaf philodendron, elephant ear philodendron, cornstalk dracaena, weeping fig, Chinese evergreen, snake plant, Janet Craig dracaena, Warneck dracaena, selloum philodendron and red-edged dracaena. For optimum results, space each 6-inch plant about every 100 square feet in an area to filter the air.