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When we talk about environmental monitoring, one of the most important components of that is checking the quality of the air. Many of us make the mistake of assuming air quality indoors is far cleaner than what’s found outside. But a study by the EPA found that inside air tended to be 2 to 5 times dirtier than what we’re breathing when we go out. So what can we do about it?

As it turns out, we have a lot of options, both technological and natural, to reduce airborne contaminants. One of our favorites is to look to nature and use houseplants that have the innate ability to reduce pollutants. By doing this, they can work alongside air purifiers and clean HVAC systems to provide you with clean and healthy air. Yesterday, we shared some commonly found species of plant that do the job well, and we’d like to share a few more today.

  • The Warneck dracaena is a very hardy plant that has a talent for filtering chemicals commonly found within varnishes and oils. With its breathtaking striped leaves that create clusters atop a thin stem, it can potentially grow up to 12 feet high. This plant doesn’t do well with water that has high levels of fluoride. By giving it a little direct sunlight and using purified water, it will do its job for years.
  • We love plants, but we’re not so great when it comes to nurturing them. That’s why we got very interested when we heard about the Chinese evergreen. Not only is it a very tough plant, it doesn’t need much light and it often thrives in areas that are lethal to many other plants. Even better is its ability to dissipate numerous pollutants, and as it matures, it only gets better at filtration.
  • The chemical formaldehyde is found within some kinds of furniture. That’s why we like the idea of keeping a Bamboo palm close by to help dissipate harmful pollutants like trichloroethylene and benzene.. The Bamboo palm is striking with a normal height of 5-7 feet, an attractive berries and flowers that often bloom. It prefers bright but indirect light and a little humidity, since it originates from Central America.
  • The heart leaf philodendron does very well at removing traces of airborne toxins like formaldehyde. It’s a strong climbing plant with long vines that can stretch throughout the room. With minimal maintenance and only a little light, the heart leaf’s trailing vines can either fall directly out of the pot or wind up a trellis for a gorgeous effect. Be careful, because it is toxic to pets and children.
  • To look at the pale flowers of the peace lily, you might think that it’s a plant that’s delicate and requires constant care. NASA discovered differently, and they found that the peace lily not only is very durable, but also filters out chemicals like toluene and xylene. It’s a very easy plant to look after, and when you see the plant drooping, that’s a clear sign that it wants more water.