Unfortunately, radiation is a real thing. Polluted air can penetrate inside our homes while some of our home furniture and household supplies give off toxins as well.
The good news is, owning a succulent can help improve the quality of the air around you. These plants remove toxins, improve the flow of air, and humidify your dry air indoors.
Harmful Toxins in the Air
The toxins found in the air are generally known as volatile organic compounds. Common household supplies like detergent, paper towels, and tissues, and other cleaning products give off volatile organic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia. It’s ironic how these cleaning products may not be doing their jobs after all. Household items like ovens, carpets, gas stoves and paneling are also common sources of toxins in the home.
Ozone is another severe contributor to air pollution inside offices. It’s an odorless and clueless gas produced when chemicals react with oxygen. It is invisible to the naked eye, so we do not know whether it’s present and damaging our health. Ozone inside offices comes from laser printers, copy machines, UV lights, and even some electrostatic air purifiers.
According to a study, indoor air contains higher levels of volatile organic compounds. There are even cases where the toxins are ten times higher indoors than outdoors because pollutants do not easily separate from indoor air. This means that by going about your typical day, you are already exposed to so many toxins.
The symptoms of being exposed to harmful toxins include itchy eyes, sore throat, headache, and nausea. These symptoms sound like someone having seasonal allergies, so there is a high chance that the poor quality of indoor air may also cause this kind of allergies.
How Succulents Remove Toxins
It is, of course, impractical to throw away all the household products and supplies that give off harmful chemicals. You also don’t need to spend much on organic cleaning products because fortunately, the best way to improve your indoor air quality lies in something you already have – plants.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study published in 1998, plants can effectively cleanse the air from unwanted and unnecessary pollution. For the study, NASA built the BioHome, a fully functional home that could sustain the needs of one person. The home had a garden and separate systems for water purification and waste management. To keep it sustainable, NASA built the BioHome using synthetic materials and made it airtight.
However, anyone who would go inside the BioHome experienced a burning sensation in their eyes and difficulty in breathing. It was found that the volatile compounds from the synthetic materials used to build the home were polluting the air.
NASA found a solution in the form of plants. From years of studying volatile compounds, they were aware of how they worked, and they knew that plants could absorb these toxins. After adding houseplants like Snake Plant to the BioHome, nobody complained of burning eyes and breathing problems anymore, and tests showed that most pollutants in the air were gone.
Aside from improving air quality, plants are also known to boost the productivity and concentration of people inside an enclosed space. It can also improve mood, enhance memory, diminish stress, and ease fatigue and exhaustion.
The study suggested having three plants for every 100 square feet in your home or office, but it is better to test the suitability of the plant to your space first.
What Makes Succulents Special
Here are four types of succulents that you can place inside your home to make sure your indoor air is free from harmful toxins:
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera effectively cleanses the air from benzene and formaldehyde. It is also used for various medicinal and beauty purposes. It is a great indoor plant that’s easy to grow and propagate.
2. Corn plant
Corn plant, or Dracaena fragrans, cleanse the air from formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. It can grow to over 6 feet tall and spreads to two-three feet wide. It requires low and indirect light, so they are perfect for indoors.
3. Janet Craig
Janet Craig rids the air of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. It requires medium indirect sunlight, but it can also survive with minimal light. It is often used as a floor plant in indoor spaces.
4. Red-Edged Dracaena
Also known as the Dragon Tree, the Red-Edged Dracaena removes formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene, and toluene from the air. It gained its name from the unique reddish-purple edges of its leaves. A mature Red-Edged Dracaena can grow to over 6 feet tall indoors. It thrives under full sunlight but can also survive low light conditions.
If you want to improve the quality of your indoor air, succulents are the best solution. If you don’t own one yet, it’s time to get some!