Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"10 Plants That'll Gobble Up the Toxic Air

You probably spend 90% of your time indoors, with pollutant levels 25-100 times higher than the air outside and containing over 1500 substances. But a NASA discovery says if you get 15 to 18 of these type of plants, they'll gobble up 87% of these "bad guys" in 24 hours...

Indoor air quality is a very big concern of mine. The following numbers pretty much speak for themselves, and can be both surprising and quite alarming at the same time…
  • Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors… some estimates go as high as 97%
  • Many homes and offices have airborne pollutant levels 25-100 times higher than the air outside
  • Over 1500 substances may be found in the typical North American home… some of which can emit toxic fumes

These numbers and statistics are not meant to frighten you… but simply to give you a wake-up call to what many folks unknowingly assume is okay… and that's indoor air quality.
Since I last examined this, I believe the average time folks spend indoors may have even increased.
Because very challenging winters in the cold climates of the US coupled with more work-at-home opportunities (and economy-driven employment issues) add up to people spending more time at home and indoors.
The good news is there are some very positive steps you can take to enhance the indoor air you breathe… and I'm here to help you do just that.

Why the Indoor Air in Your Home and Office is So Important
Have you ever spent time in an environment that invigorated you, and inspired you to think clearly and creatively?

Chances are this environment was somewhere outside in nature.
So what causes the air inside your home or office to not come close to having the same effect… or worse, to even reach high pollution levels?
First of all, the EPA tells us that the air outside your home establishes the baseline for your indoor air.
This seems to make perfect sense. It also means if you already live in an area with high levels of outside pollutants, your indoor air probably started out 'bad' before anything inside your house had a chance to impact it even further.
"Ever wonder why spending time in a natural pollution-free environment can be so invigorating?"
But once inside your home or office, the air you breathe can get worse and loads of other pollutants may be added from materials and faulty processes inside your home such as…

What's the First Thing You Can Do to Improve Air Quality in
Your Home or Office?
Bringing a bit of nature indoors with houseplants is an excellent idea and can help make you feel a bit more cheery
Living closer to nature may actually even help increase your quality of life.
"Household plants like this African violet can help to enhance your indoor air quality"
It was NASA, along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), that conducted a classic study on the benefits of plants on indoor air.
NASA reported that houseplants were able to reduce up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. They recommended using 15 to 18 'good-sized' houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers for an 1800 square-foot house.
And not just any house plants will do… here's a list of the top 10 anti-pollutant plants rated best by The New…
  1. The Feston Rose plant
  2. Devil's Ivy
  3. Phalaenopsis
  4. English Ivy
  5. Parlor Ivy
  6. African Violets
  7. Christmas Cactus
  8. Yellow Goddess
  9. Garlic Vine
  10. Peace Lily
NASA, at the Stennis Space Center, also constructed what they called a BioHome, which incorporated bioregenerative technology with the ultimate goal of providing a life support system for permanent human habitation in space.
And inside the BioHome structure are common houseplants, which NASA says act as living air purifiers to absorb as much chemical pollutants as possible from synthetic materials in the living area.
If houseplants are capable of cleansing the air in the BioHome, imagine what they could do in your home!

Mold Is a Common Issue in Many Homes
One of the major motivating factors for me to seek to identify the highest quality home filter is that my home had a leak in the basement due to a crack in the foundation and the end result was mold.
Unfortunately this is all too common. Many homes are contaminated with mold as a result of flooding, water leaks from indoor plumbing, leaky roofs or leaky basement foundations.
You can use the search engine on this site to find recent detailed articles I have written that comprehensively addresses this, but I want to share a key principle that I learned that will save you loads of grief and potentially many thousands or tens of thousands of repair bills.
Please understand that no air filter in the world will eliminate mold problems. You must find the source of the water leakage and stop water intrusion into your home and make sure you control the humidity. The other key is to jump on this problem the moment you find it, do not delay as the longer you wait the more expensive the repairs will likely be.
Once you have been able to get the mold under control then you can introduce an air purification system based on the discussion below.

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