During the colder winter season air pollution changes, and your health can be compromised by these environmental factors.
Smog is often caused by heavy traffic, high temperatures, sunshine and calm winds. During winter, when wind speeds are low, it helps the smoke and fog to stagnate at a place forming smog, increasing pollution levels near the ground closer to where people breathe. It hampers visibility and disturbs the environment.
Living and working in places full of air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. The easiest manageable solution to help keep air clean comes from nature herself. This is what NASA calls “nature’s life support system”, and most of you probably have this working for you already.
Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. But that’s not all—microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.
Beyond improving air quality and helping you breathe healthy, plants also make people feel better. For example, hospital patients with plants in their rooms were more positive and had lower blood pressure and stress levels. Indoor plants also help make us alert and reduce mental fatigue.
In the NASA research, this plant was an air-purifying champion, removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air. Popular and inexpensive at garden stores, they can be planted outside right after they’re finished blooming.
Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene
Peace lily plants are relatively small compared to other plants on this list, but they still pack some major air-cleaning abilities.
Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
This is one of the hardest houseplants to kill. Which means though it does need to be watered occasionally, it generally prefers drier conditions and some sun.
Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene
A superstar of filtering formaldehyde, these palms thrive in full sun or bright light. Part of the reason they can filter so much air is that they can grow to be pretty big—as tall as four to 12 feet high, making them exciting (and pet-friendly) indoor additions.
Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene
In addition to being easy to care for, this plant makes some brilliant health claims. The plant’s leaves contain a clear liquid full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and there is some evidence that aloe vera may help (and is unlikely to hurt) skin conditions like psoriasis.
Pollutant removed: formaldehyde
Information on plants and NASA research sourced from Maria Janowiak’s 9 Air cleansing Houseplants that are impossible to kill