Soft Greens of Spring Are Here Serenity Garden

House Plants to Make Your Home Healthy

Keep that houseplant alive!  It will make your home -- and potentially your family - -healthy!   New research from the University of Georgia's Agricultural Experiment Stations found certain plants can "significantly reduce" concentration of harmful indoor pollutants.  Researchers tested 28 different indoor plants and found 5 of them particularly effective at removing indoor contaminants.

They are:                              

English Ivy (herea helix)

Purple waffe ( hemigraphis alternata)

Wax plant (hoya carnosa)

Asparagus fern (aspargus densiflorus)

Purple heart (tradescantia pallida)

Researchers put the plants in airtight contaners and then exposed them to household coniminants including benzene, toluene, octan, alpha-pinen, and TCE.  the five named plants were particularly good at phytoremediation, plant-based contaminant removal.  Professors Stanley Kays tells ugaEducation magazine, "The idea that plants take up volative compounds wasn't as much of a surprise as the poor air quality we measured inside some of the homes we tested."  He said researchers found unexpectedly high levels of many contaminants that can harm health.

The World Health Organization says such contaminants may be the cause of 1.6 million deaths each year.  The sources can include floorcoverings and furniture, plastics and adhesives, een tap water.  Since most of us are unwilling to live in a contaminant-free sterile box, it seems like a couple of pots of ivy might not be a bad idea.  (See August 2009 issue of HortScience)