Research suggests that indoor plants drastically reduce your stress and improve your heath by soaking up indoor air pollution.
According to the World Health Organization’s report in 2002 on indoor pollutants, indoor air can be up to 12 times as polluted as outdoor air. Volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, released from paints, adhesives, varnishes, solvents, furniture, and clothing can all affect indoor air quality. Urea-formaldehyde, found in the resin of many pressed wood products and in some insulation, can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Both VOCs and formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions, illnesses, irritation, and cancer.
Luckily, many decorative plants can have a significant impact. During a study at the University of Georgia, common indoor plants were tested for their ability to remove five common VOCs from the air. Of the 28 species tested, the Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata), English Ivy (Hedera helix), Waxy Leaved Plant (Hoya carnosa), and Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus) were best at removing harmful pollutants. Plants adapted to grow in low-light conditions, like many houseplants, have to efficiently capture the gases for photosynthesis, and this adaptation enhances their ability to soak up toxic products. Plants are a cheap and effective way to improve indoor air quality while beautifying your home.