“Best air filtering plants” – NASA

“Best air filtering plants” – NASA

In South Africa we celebrate Arbor Day in the first week of September. Many don’t have access to yards in order to partake in this essential practice. If you are unable to plant a tree on Arbor Day, know that there are these alternatives which can quickly add quality to our daily lives.

Nasa’s clean air study’s results suggested that certain common indoor plants may provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air, helping neutralize the effects of sick building syndrome.

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome or SBS is used to describe when occupants of a building experience acute health problems that seem to be related to time spent inside of a building. No precise illness or cause has been identified. Some suggest that it is linked to poor indoor air quality.

Some of these plants not only clean air, but produce large quantities of oxygen. I’ll be sure to add a bit of advice on how to care for these varieties.

With talk of terraforming new planets within our lifetimes, one can appreciate the importance of these kinds of research endeavors, even for those of us simply wishing to improve the quality of our air at home and the office.



Benzene is an industrial chemical found in crude oil and gasoline. It’s used to make plastics, drugs, detergents, synthetic fibers, pesticides and more. It is believed to be a carcinogen (can cause cancer).

Formaldehyde is a colorless chemical used to make products such as paper coatings, pressed wood and insulation products. Formaldehyde is also used as an embalming fluid or “preservative” for the dead. It is a known carcinogen.

Trichloroethylene has been associated with adverse effects to the nervous system, liver and kidneys. It is used as a solvent to help remove grease and is also a chemical that is used to assist with the production of other chemicals.


Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *