|aloe vera plant|
Plants can remove the chemicals:
Trichloroethylene (TCE) which is considered a potent liver carcinogen found in such things as inks, paints and glues.
Benzene an eye and skin irritant which can be found in, for example, paints, plastics, and rubber.
Formaldehyde which is found all over the place in the home. It is used in particle board and pressed wood products, paper products, cleaning products, carpets and cooking fuels like natural gas. Formaldehyde is an irritant which in high exposure can cause headaches. Asthma has been linked to formaldehyde exposure.
There was a study of plants in an office building in India that found the incidence of eye irritation reduced by 52%, lower respiratory symptoms by 34%, headaches by 24%, upper respiratory symptoms by 20%, lung impairment by 10-12% and Asthma by 9%. You can read about that here.
A list of air filtering plants can be found here. They include: Mother-in-Laws Tongue, Peace Lily, Heart-Leaf Philodendron, Bamboo Palm and Spider Plant.
|Mother-in-Law's Tongue & Peace Lily|
Then, last week I read that aloe vera plants are a bit different to others in that they do produce oxygen at night ... and so do Mother-in-Laws Tongue and cactus.
This news excited me greatly because I just happened to have an aloe vera plant in a pot outside that has been multiplying and is looking rather healthy. So I thought I'd clean up the pot and pop it beside my bed.
And that very night I jumped into bed and started to bore Monkey Man with my limited scientific knowledge about plants and how I was sure I could already breathe easier in this room. And I instructed Monkey Man to suck up that fresh super-oxygenated air that was being produced by the magic of aloe vera. And then I looked at my lovely, oxygenating aloe vera plant and noticed something that shut me up rather quickly. Three fat, slimy slugs and a snail were slithering their way all over my plant, only a few centimetres from my face.
It seems that those stupid self-watering pots with the little hole at the bottom probably ought not to be put outside and then brought back in a few months later. They provide lovely daytime hidey holes for creatures. Icky creatures that do not belong in the bedroom. So after begging Monkey Man to dispose of the slugs, I stuffed the hole with tissues and tried not to think of the possibility of red back spiders creeping out of the plant hole and into my bed while I slept a sound sleep sucking up that super fresh air.