So you have been reading about air-purifying plants and plants that give Oxygen at night. But are these plants really needed in our urban homes? Is it just a buzz or is there something more to it? Let's find out!
Seriously, are there toxins in the air I breathe?
Urban homes are very susceptible to pollutants and irritants like VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and other harmful chemicals. Most of our daily activities include the usage of products that release these VOCs into the air. For instance, gas stoves and water heaters emit Carbon monoxide. Nail polish removers release Acetone. Air fresheners and cleaners & disinfectants release harmful VOCs like Formaldehyde and Benzene. Studies have found that levels of several VOCs average 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. Moreover, levels may be 1,000 times higher than background outdoor levels post certain activities, such as painting and furniture polishing.
Apart from VOCs and Carbon monoxide, there is the problem of dust particles in the air and also mold spores and bacteria that we normally breathe. All of these deteriorate the quality of the indoor air we breathe.
Bring home an air purifying and easy to care money plant golden
Alright, we hear you, the air we breathe has toxins, but are these toxins really harmful?
Have you ever felt skin irritation or irritation in your eyes? Or do you suffer from headaches at home? Well, the air you are exposed to at your home might have a role to play! VOCs cause a range of health issues. Short-term effects of VOCs like Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene, Toluene, Acetone, and other chemicals that are added into the air by everyday products, include headache, dizziness, eye irritation, increase in asthma symptoms, and respiratory tract irritation. Long-term effects of chronic exposure to these substances can lead to damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidney damage, and cancer.
Carbon Monoxide, whose levels at home are a growing concern in Indian urban cities, is harmful in a slightly tricky way - it displaces Oxygen in your breathing, and at a certain level, makes Oxygen levels so low that you start experiencing headaches and giddiness.
Particulate matter and dust particles in the air are very common in India and are major causes of skin irritation and eye irritation. They induce common symptoms like rashes, itching, and dry eyes.
Mold spores, also found in the air, cause allergic symptoms like skin rashes, sneezing, red eyes, and respiratory tract irritation.
Oh, this sounds serious, but can plants reduce these toxins in the air and magically improve the quality of air in my home?
House plants are excellent at removing these toxins from indoor air. Let's start with the VOCs. The best air-purifying plants to remove VOCs from indoor air are Money Plant (Pothos), Philodendrons, Snake Plant, Dracaena, Peace Lily, Bromeliads, Areca Palm, Spider Plant, Rubber Plant, and Jade Plant. Apart from VOCs, Indoor air-purifying plants like Golden Pothos, Spider Plant, and Peace Lily remove Carbon monoxide from the air. Air purifying plants like Money Plant, English Ivy, Peace Lily, Philodendrons, and Spider Plant trap dust particles and reduce their concentration in the indoor air. Some indoor air-purifying plants like English Ivy, Rubber Plant, Snake Plant, and Peace Lily also help in removing mold spores and bacteria from the indoor air.
Nasa studied the process of Phytoremediation or Biofiltration, and back in 1989, they published a study titled "Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement", where they measured the effectiveness of certain air purifying plants against 3 common VOCs - Benzene, Trichloroethylene, and Formaldehyde. Many researchers have since studied and published reports on how plants really remove these toxins from the air.
Air quality in urban homes has been continuously deteriorating, and every urban household needs more air-purifying plants to keep their home's environment cleaner and healthier. Apart from removing harmful VOCs, plants reduce dust particles in the air. Indian cities are constantly under development and nearby constructions create a huge amount of particulate matter that causes eye irritation and headache. Thankfully, air-purifying plants with dense foliage can keep the overall particulate matter quantity in check within your home.
So yes, there is a lot of noise around air-purifying indoor plants, and the noise is not just correct but also needed.