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Plants: The Natural Air Purifiers

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Plants are our superheroes in so many ways, that without them we would be existing in a totally different world. Plants are one of our most important food sources, providing us with vital nutrients. Plants have also been used for medicine for thousands of years. Certain plants because of their fiber content, have been used to make clothing. Plants can be used to build homes and other buildings. Plants provide beautiful decors for our homes. Plants produce oxygen, and as a result have a very important role in purifying our indoor environments of various toxins and pollutants. You'll need several or more plants for effective air purifying. NASA in the the late1980's did a Clean & Air Study in which they identified nearly 50 air purifying plants for removing toxins in indoor environments, including:

  1. Dwarf Date Palms

  2. Boston Fern

  3. Kimberly Queen Fern

  4. Spider Plant

  5. Chinese Evergreen

  6. Weeping Fig

  7. Devil's Ivy

  8. Weeping Ivy

  9. Florist Chrysanthemum

  10. Flamingo Lily

  11. Peace Lily

  12. Red-edged Dracaena

  13. Broad-leaf Lady Palm

  14. Barberton Daisy

  15. Cornstalk Dracaena

  16. English Ivy

  17. Varigated Snake Plant

Some of the toxins that were purified with these plants included:

  1. Trichloroethylene: found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, and paint removers/strippers. Symptoms from short term exposure: excitement, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and coma.

  2. Formaldehyde: found in paper bags, waxed paper, facial tissues, paper towels, table napkins, particle boards, plywood paneling, and synthetic fibers. Symptoms from short term exposure: Irritation of mouth, nose, throat, and severe cases swelling of lungs and larynx.

  3. Benzene: used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents,drugs, pesticides, tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust, glue, paint, furniture wax. Symptoms from short term exposure: irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, increased heart rate, confusion , and can result in unconsciousness.

  4. Xylene: found in printing, rubber, leather, and paint industries, tobacco, smoke, and vehicle exhaust.

  5. Ammonia: found. in window cleaners, floor waxes, smelling salts, and fertilizers. Symptoms from short term exposure: eye irritation, coughing, sore throat.

Note: Several of these plants are known to be toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. If you

are a pet owner, please do check the toxicity of the plants before introducing them to your home. ( interior design, nature:

17 plants that are poisonous to your pets include:

1. Lilies (members of Lilium app family) are very toxic, with a small ingestion can cause severe kidney damage.

2. Marijuana (of Cannabis Sativa) can cause depression of central nervous system, coordination problems, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate, seizures, and coma.

3. Sago Palm (Cycos Revoluta) have all poisonous parts, primarily in the seed or nuts containing the highest toxins. Mere ingestion of 1 to 2 seeds can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and liver failure.

4. Tulip bulb contain toxins that are highly toxic producing GI symptoms, central nervous system depression, convulsions, and cardiac problems.

5. Oleander the whole plant is considered toxic. It contain cardiac glycosides that can cause serious effects to the GI tract, cardiac abnormalities, death.

6. Castor Bean contains the toxin, ricin which is a protein that can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and in severe cases can cause dehydration, seizures, coma, and death.

7. Cyclamen's toxin is concentrated in the roots that can cause severe GI symptoms of intense vomiting, and death.

8. Kalanchoe can cause GI irritation, as well as cardiac abnormalities.

9. Yew contains toxins that can cause central nervous system disturbances such as trembling, coordination problems as well as respiratory, GI and cardiac abnormalities, and death.

10. Amaryllis can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and tremors.

11. Autumn Crocus ingestion can cause oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ failure and bone marrow suppression.

12. Chrysanthemum contains pyrethrins, if ingested, can cause vomiting, and diarrhea. If there is sufficient ingestion of any part of the plant then depression and loss of coordination can occur.

13. English Ivy (Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, California IVY ) contains triterpenoid saponins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hypersalivation.

14. Peace Lily contains calcium oxalate that can cause irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, intense burning and irritation of mouth. lips, and tongue.

15. Pothos if ingested can cause significant irritation and swelling of oral tissues.

16. Schefflera contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive, drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swelling and intense burning and irritation of mouth, lips, and tongue when ingested. (

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