Rachel Nedialkov - 14 May 2021
10 Natural Air Purifiers: Plants and Air Quality
Air quality is an important element of the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing - even before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many measures including air purifying technology and natural air purifiers are available to provide clean air and reduce air pollutants and their subsequent risks of severe illnesses.
Natural air purifiers such as plants can be a fantastic supplement to air quality technologies such as HEPA filters and UV-C in-duct solutions. After all, plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis, with tropical rainforests contributing to 28% of the world’s oxygen supply! Plants have also been proven to have the capability to remove some amounts of pollution, despite being on a relatively minuscule scale proportionate to total global air pollution. Taking care of plants can also be a therapeutic activity, especially in a time when people are spending most of the day indoors.
Here are 10 plants that can provide liveliness to your space and some additional air-purifying benefits:
1. Areca Palm
As a beautiful addition to a living room or larger space, this plant provides incredible purifying powers for a wide variety of toxins such as benzene, carbon monoxide, and the greatest quantities of toluene and xylene than any other plant. These chemicals are commonly found in workplaces and households through products such as glue, correction fluid, and nail polish removers.
2. Snake Plant
Having the unique capability to produce oxygen at night, the snake plant purifies the air of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene; chemicals that can be emitted from gasoline, cleaning products and paints.
3. English Ivy
This plant combats mould, formaldehyde, and benzene while being simple to care for. In fact, they can grow quite rapidly and should be separated from your other plants to ensure that it does not spread onto its neighbours and restrict their share of sunlight.
4. Aloe Vera
As another plant that emits oxygen at night, the aloe vera can provide supplemental air purification for a good night of sleep. It tackles formaldehyde and benzene, and as a bonus, it is convenient to use its gel as a natural method to soothe burns!
5. Bamboo Palm
This palm’s ability to grow to heights of 6 feet provides higher air filtration of toxins such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. It also thrives off water to return high moisture transpiration rates.
As one of the few flowers with the ability to purify the air from ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene, this plant can add a pop of colour to any indoor space while also purifying the air!
7. Spider Plant
This plant is sure to be the only spider-related organism you will like in your household, as it requires very little care to provide air purification against carbon monoxide and xylene.
8. Devils Ivy
Known as the plant that is “harder to kill than keep alive,” the Devil’s Ivy is a low-maintenance plant that filters toxins such as xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. However, it is important to note that this plant can be toxic if ingested by a domestic animal or child.
9. Broadleaf Lady Palm
This palm is not only a luscious addition to your plant collection but also boasts the unique power of reducing harmful ammonia emissions that are most commonly found in generic cleaning products.
10. Rubber Plant
The large leaves of the rubber plant absorb and break down chemicals while eliminating bacteria and mold spores, presenting itself as a fantastic choice for those who often forget to water their plants!
Ultimately, plants should not be considered as a primary air-purifying precaution. To get the amount of air purification less than one percent of the capability of a HEPA air purifier, you would need about 10 plants per square foot, which, in a small 500-square foot apartment, would represent 5,000 plants.
If you are a true plant lover, by all means, do let us know how it goes! However, for those who do not have a green thumb or prefer more personal space, a few plants and an air purifier have been proven to provide a safe and effective air purification strategy.