You might not realise, but air found inside our houses, workplaces and cars is typically far more polluted than air found outdoors. How could it possibly be more polluted you might ask? Research shows that pollutants inside the home can include the following:
- cigarette smoke
- heaters and stoves without flues
- faulty or un-serviced gas heaters
- chemical odours from paint, glues, cleaners or solvents
- animal fur and castaways
Whilst outdoors, you are subject to smog, dust, smoke, fuel emissions and industrial processes, it’s important to remember that around Australia, our air quality is ranked well in comparison to our international competitors. Yet, as most of us spend a lot of time inside, typical indoor pollutants are an important risk factor and should be noted accordingly. Opening ourselves up to air pollutants can increase our risk of respiratory conditions such as Asthma and potential heart conditions.
In order to combat polluted air inside our homes, we like to utilise houseplants as a means of providing purer and cleaner air. Plants are known to filter out particular harmful compounds in the air, making it much healthier to breathe and live in. Best of all, the following houseplants are easy to locate and can usually be picked up from your local home improvement store.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a utensil found very often in households due to its natural healing ability. The gel from inside the plant is excellent for helping to heal burns and cuts but it is also a great plant for improving air quality indoors. Aloe Vera is easy to grow, and is known for eliminating traces of benzene throughout homes which is a compound found in paint and household chemical cleaners.
- Peace Lily
This plant is one that can improve your indoor air quality by as much as 60 percent. It helps to reduce the levels of moulds that grow in the home by absorbing those spores through its leaves and then circulating them to the plant’s roots where they are used as food. Particularly useful in bathrooms, the Peace Lily can help to keep shower tiles and curtains free from mildew and the plant can absorb harmful vapours from alcohol and acetone. Not only is it useful, it is also beautiful to look at!
- Spider Plant
The Spider Plant is one that is commonly found throughout homes as it is super easy to grow! This plant can remove up to 90 percent of the toxins in your indoor air within just two days. The leaves grow quickly and help to absorb harmful substances like mould and other allergens and therefore it is the perfect plant for those who have common dust allergies. It is also known to help absorb small traces of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.
The Eucalyptus plant is another popular household remedy for all types of ailments. It can be a little more difficult to find in houseplant form but if you can find one, it’s meant to be for your home! The leaves of the Eucalyptus plant are filled with tannins which raises healthy fluids in the body’s air passages – just breathing in the scent of these plants can help to lower congestion problems and help with flu symptoms.
- African Violets
African Violets are purple in colour which can be a health benefit in itself – looking at the plant can help to stimulate adrenaline and can increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, helping you to relax. The plants are small, easy to care for and grow best in artificial light so they are perfect for those who do not have access to direct sunlight.