Spring is officially here. (And not a minute too soon, because pretty much every button has fallen off my winter coat.)
This means it’s time to do some spring cleaning and throw open the windows to let the fresh air in.
Really, throw open the windows, because research has shown that air in homes and other buildings can be two to five times more polluted than the outdoor air (even in big cities).
Studies also found that the average person spends close to 90% of their time indoors, thus vastly increasing their exposure to these pollutants.
“What pollutants”, you ask? "It’s not like I’m using oven cleaner as a dessert topping."
Well, apparently, seemingly harmless things like carpets, gas stoves, cleaning products, nail polish remover and pressed woods all release known cancer-causing toxins into the air (and up your nose).
But wait, Debbie Downer is about to get all Pollyanna on you.
In 1980, NASA started investigating ways to provide clean air in enclosed spaces. And after years of research, they confirmed that house plants greatly improved air quality. (Good to know our space- funding dollars are going to develop things other than Tang:)
Below is NASA’s list of some of the top air-purifying plants. Believe it or not, these house plants can help rid your home's air of benzene (used in the production of plastic, oil, synthetic rubber and many dyes), formaldehyde (pressed wood products -hardwood, plywood, particleboard, fiberboard) and trichloroethylene (in some cleaning fluids, dry cleaning, etc) all of which are carcinogens.
I’ve cross-referenced the NASA list and chosen the plants that aren’t poisonous to pets (just in case you have a cat, like mine, who thinks the houseplants are an all-you-can-eat salad bar special).
Here are the best of the best:
Janet Craig Dracaena
(Isn’t the plastic version of this in every depressing Dr's office?)