Like houseplants? So do we, here's why...
Indoor Plants Create Fresh Air NASA Study Scores Plants' Ability to Remove Chemicals.

Want to create a source of fresh air in your home or office? NASA study provides a list of which plants are best indoor air filters. NASA conducted a joint study with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA).

During the energy crisis of the 1970’s a standard practiced was developed to create energy efficient buildings. The solution was to heavily insulate the building structures, as well as control the influx of fresh air via cracks, openings, spaces, etc. By sealing and insulating the buildings, millions of dollars on energy costs were saved, but at what expense?

The stagnant air became a breeding ground for toxic chemicals that are found in everyday objects. Therefore the objective of the NASA study was to discover the potential use of household plants in solving indoor air pollution problems. The two-study focused primarily on 3 everyday household chemicals.

Three Most Common Indoor Chemicals
  • Benzene, is used as a solvent and can be found in plastics, dyes, rubbers, detergents, and gasoline, among the other numerous items. Irritable to the skin and eyes, Benzene can cause respiratory and psychological disturbances, liver and kidney damage, as well as diseases to the blood and lymphatic systems.
  • Trichloroethylene is used in varnishes, adhesives, and metal degreasing. Known as a liver carcinogen it also damages the respiratory and central nervous systems by acting as an anesthetic. Numbing the functions of cells, Trichloroethylene can have a lethal effect.
  • Formaldehyde is used as a preserving agent. Practically found in every environment, from insulation, particleboard, and carpet backing, to grocery bags and paper towels. This chemical is one of the leading causes for the development of asthma.
Best Plants to Remove Air Chemicals. The research studied 50 household plants and their ability to remove the three chemicals from a controlled chamber over the course of 24 hours. The plants that removed a minimal of 30,000 micrograms over 24 hours are:

Boston Fern


Gerbera Daisy

Janet Craig/ Dracaena

Read on Buy a Houseplant For a Healthier Home This easy guide to indoor plants provides a fresh look at how and why houseplants improve air quality and tells you which plant varieties work best to remove pollutants Bamboo Palm


Peace Lily


The most successful plants, the English Ivy and the Peace Lily, removed 80% of the Benzene from the sealed chamber.

Overall Top Indoor Plants: In addition to chemical removal, NASA also provided an overall ranking of the 50 household plants. On a 1-10 scale, the plants were scored on their ability to remove chemical vapors, resist insects, and how easy they are to maintain. Of that list, here are the top ten:

Areca Palm: 8.5 Known as a natural humidifier

Lady Palm: 8.5 Bug resistant and easy to grow

Bamboo Palm:8.4 Second best at air purifying

Rubber Plant: 8.0 Removes formaldehyde and requires minimal light

Dracaena: 7.8 Known as the female dragon it is a leader at removing Formaldehyde

English Ivy:7.8 Best allergy reducer

Dwarf Date Palm: 7.8 A known Trichloroethylene removal.

Ficus Alii: 7.7 Naturally from Hawaii and easy to maintain

Boston Fern: 7.5 Most efficient at removing Formaldehyde and Benzene

Peace Lily: 7.5 Second best at removing Benzene. Needs plenty of water.

Whether kept in small pots throughout the house, our planted in your outdoor garden, all of these plants will improve the quality of the air you breath. Some of the plant’s leaves are toxic to small animals, hence why they are bug resistant. Ensure the safety of your children and pets, know the type of plants you have in your household.

 Special thanks to Francisco Ramos and Nasa for giving us a breath of fresh air. 2009

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