Researcher Kamal Meattle is an environmental advocate and air quality innovator in his native India. There, he advocates for “massive banks of plants instead of massive banks of HVAC equipment” for cleaning the air. He and others interested in natural air-cleaning methods have identified several plants that are great for removing toxins, including carcinogens from the air.
MindBodyGreen. He recommends having four of these plants in the home per resident.
He recommends Mother-in-Law’s Tongue as the “bedroom plant” as it is a nighttime oxygen maker. Making your room resemble a tropical forest, he recommends having six to eight waist-high plants per person.
Finally, Meattle recommends Money Plants as “the specialist plant” which is able to filter formaldehyde and several other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from the air.
A NASA study from several years ago also identified houseplants that have air-purifying effects in the home. That agency, which should know a thing or two about having quality, breathable air, recommends:
- Devil’s ivy
- Mother-in-law’s tongue
- Peace lilies
- Snake plants
- Gerbera daisies
“In this study the leaves, roots, soil, and associated microorganisms of plants have been evaluated as a possible means of reducing indoor air pollutants. Additionally, a novel approach of using plants systems for removing high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon has been designed from this work.”Additional houseplants that are relatively easy to grow and can help filter the air include: the purple waffle plant, English ivy, variegated wax plant, asparagus fern, spider plant, red-edge dracaena, bamboo palm, and chrysanthemum.