Indoor Pollution
While some of these plants have been found to help reduce certain toxins, most act as air purifiers through increased oxygen production.
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When you live in a city like Bengaluru, it is impossible to avoid two things: first is the traffic and second, the pollution. However, while so much of attention is given to outdoor pollution and how exposure to it impacts our health significantly, not as much attention is drawn to the problem of indoor pollution. According to a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US, indoor air pollution contributes to a significant number of health issues, ranging from a mild irritation of the throat, nose, or eyes to long term issues including development of cancer or heart and lung disorders. Lack of adequate ventilation, excess moisture, tobacco smoke are among the things which may be contributing to poor air quality indoors. This may lead to the presence of toxins such as formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene in the air, which can in turn lead to health problems. The study also found that certain houseplants were effective in purifying the air inside one’s homes. According to Deputy Director of Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Chandrasekhar, several indoor plants have the ability to remove carbon in the air and release oxygen in exchange, thereby improving the quality of air indoors. TNM brings you a list of indoor plants which you can keep around the house to help reduce the effects of indoor air pollution.

Aglaonema

Other names: Chinese evergreen

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The Chinese evergreen plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. It has been noted to aid in improving indoor air quality by removing harmful substances from the air such as benzene and carbon monoxide, which may be found in an indoor environment due to lack of adequate ventilation.

Zamia palm

Other names: Macrozamia riedlei

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Not only does this plant improve the oxygen concentration, it also requires minimal light to grow. It is also slow growing and does not require much water to flourish. While it may not be considered an air purifier, Chandrasekhar states that it improves the indoor air quality by increasing oxygen concentration indoors.

Snake plant

Other names: Sansevieria trifasciata, Mother-in-law’s tongue

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This plant, also called the “Mother-in-law’s tongue’ gives off a lot of oxygen, even at night. It increases the oxygen circulation indoors as a result. It has also been noted to remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and toluene from the air. However, people with pets are cautioned against bringing this plant home as it has been known to be poisonous for cats and dogs.

Dwarf umbrella tree

Other names: Schefflera arboricola

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The dwarf umbrella tree plant was named in the NASA study as being one of the most effective indoor plants to aid in reducing the toxins in the air. It has been noted to reduce the presence of formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air.

Peperomia

Other names: Radiator plant

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The peperomia plant is one which requires little care and is considered one of the easiest plants to grow. Over 1,000 species of the plant have been seen all over the world, though it is most commonly seen in the tropical regions. According to the NASA study, peperomia can remove upto almost 50 percent of formaldehyde present in the air.