Indoor Plants: Natural Air Purifiers

Are you aware that certain plants can act as natural air purifiers? Indoor air pollution is a serious problem in many communities, especially in cities. But there are also issues with indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde or varnishes that can also cause problems. There are many air purifiers on the market, but why not save a lot of money and also bring some warmth to your home or office with plants that also scrub your air clean?

There are three plants in particular, which you can see in this link (Natural Indoor Air Purifiers – How To Grow Indoor Fresh Air With Plants, Nature’s Air Filters). They are the snake plant, golden palm and money plant. Fortunately, these are both very common and inexpensive. This combination of plants is especially effective as they combine different functions to clean air of toxins both night and day, as well as to add pure oxygen. This was studied in a 1989 NASA study (PDF file) and was recently discussed in a TED Conference video from India, where scientists used an apartment complex as a trial and found strong improvements in people’s indoor air. Here’s a quote:

These three plants where tested for 15 years at Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park in New Delhi, India. The building is 20 years old, 50,000 square feet, employing over 1,200 plants for 300 working occupants. The Parharp office building is rated the healthiest building in Delhi by the Government of India. This study was published on September 8, 2008 by The Goverment of India, Central Pollution Control Board and Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, India

The study found that there is a 42% probability of increasing blood oxygen by 1% if one is inside the building for 10 hours. Compared to other non-planted buildings in Delhi, the Parharpur Office Building showed reductions of:

Eye Irritation – 52%
Respiratory Conditions – 34%
Headaches – 24%
Lung Impairment – 12%
Asthma – 9%

15% in energy costs where saved by injecting much less that the 15-20 cubic feet per minute of fresh air into the building as suggested by ASHRAE industry standards. This is significant considering how 40% of the worlds energy is used to maintain all building environments.

The most surprising discovery in this study was a measured increase in human productivity of 20%, a result of fewer sick days and increased employee productivity.


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4 thoughts on “Indoor Plants: Natural Air Purifiers”

  1. Hey, I was looking for exactly this information not three days ago. Thanks for reminding me exactly which plant species to research!

  2. Hey, I was looking for exactly this information not three days ago. Thanks for reminding me exactly which plant species to research!

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