Indoor air purifier plants
06 Jan



With the rapid increase in air pollution it has become pertinent to take measures for eliminating air borne pollutants and harmful compounds from indoors atmosphere, in such a time, having air purifier plants at home can be a blessing in disguise, we are extremely lucky that there are several thousand plants which can help to purify the air around us.

There is a wide range of chemical compounds and harmful gases in air, lets understand some of those and take steps to minimize their effect. Poor air quality can cause innumerable problems and severe diseases.

Poor Indoor Air Quality – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is the air quality which exists around homes and buildings. IAQ of a building can be seriously affected by harmful gases such as radon, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, etc. To determine IAQ of a living space, sample of the air is collected and then exposure to the pollutants is measured.

Indoor Air Pollution – Indoor air pollution has become a serious health hazard all over the world. It has caused serious health problems to the people and long exposure to it is life threatening for all of us. High exposure to the particulate matter has become the reason for 1.5 to 2 million deaths an year.


Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) – A highly reactive gas that carries a smell which is pungent and irritating, suplhur dioxide is formed by the burning of fuels in industries and factories. Its presence in the air results in the irritation of the lining of lungs, throat and nose, worsting the symptoms of patients with existing respiratory diseases such as asthma, and other cardiovascular problems.

Xylene and Toluene – Inhalation of these harmful gases affects the central nervous system, resulting in its depression along with symptoms such as headache, nausea, and dizziness.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) – Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas without any odor. It is harmful to the body, as it resists the healthy flow of oxygen to vital organs of thebody such as the brain and the heart, among other important tissues. At extreme high levels, the presence of the gas can be fatal, also known as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ammonia – Inhalation of ammonia gas can lead to immediate inflammation of the respiratory system. Long term exposure may result in alveolar and bronchiolar edema, along with respiratory distress or failure.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – This harmful gas is formed by emissions from vehicles and factories during the burning of fuel. It is high in concentration in regions that are congested with vehicles and traffic. The gas is a respirator irritant, causing specific damage to the cardiovascular and respiratory system. It is known to cause airway inflammation among healthy individuals.

Benzene – Prolonged exposure to benzene can cause haematological problems, affecting the bone marrow. It can also lead to immune deficiencies, excessive bleeding, and aplastic anemia.

Suspended Particulate Matter – Suspended Particulate Matter, or SPM, refers to the suspended solid and liquid particles in the air that are too small in size to be seen with the naked eye. Its short effects include irritation of the eyes and the respiratory tract, with the long term exposure causing asthma and weaker cardiovascular function.

Formaldehyde – Small quantity of formaldehyde present in the air can lead to watery eyes, along with burning sensation on the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Long term effects include diseases of the respiratory tract and organs, with the chemical being classified as a possible carcinogen causing cancer as well.


Several studies conducted by national organizations such as NASA and ALCA have revealed that plants have the abilities to purify the air within their proximity. These plants act as natural purifiers of the air. Apart from releasing oxygen in the air while absorbing carbon dioxide like the other plants, these plants are capable of removing other pollutants from the air such as formaldehyde. A list of indoor purifier plants is given below:

Peace lily: This is most effective plant for indoors, spathiphyllum removes all the pollutants from indoor air including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia. This plant is extremely easy to care and does very well in low light and indoor temperature conditions. It has many variants available which add great look to interior design, its white flowers look extremely stunning.

Aglaonema: Aglaonema is one of the most popular house plants around the world, it is found in homes and gardens everywhere because of its adaptability to different weather conditions, aglaonema loves normal home temperature between 15 -25 degree celsius with artificial or low light. Aglaonema is quite effective in cleaning indoor pollutants which cleans benzene, formaldehyde day and night. It is one of the must have plants for indoors.

Snake Plant: This is one of the most hardiest plant on the planet, it can survive any where and very effective in removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and other pollutants from the indoor air. Demand of snake plant has a huge hike in recent times, many people read articles over internet and rush to buy it all over the world.

Dracaena: There are numerous varieties of draceana which are equally effective in improving the indoor air quality and cleaning the air by removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene. Song of India is a variety of draceana which is very popular in India, it is adaptability to indoor and outdoor both types of weather conditions makes it an ideal plant for houses. The plants gels well with almost any type of background, acting as the perfect piece of decoration.

Rubber Plant: For people who have a regular exposure of high amounts of formaldehyde in the air, the rubber plant is the ideal choice of plant purifier. It is known to readily absorb the high quantities of formaldehyde present in the air, rinsing the air free of the pollutant.

Dwarf Date Palm: This date palm plant is able to remove significant amounts of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air in its proximity. As an added advantage, it is not toxic for pet animals and can be put indoors in houses with pets.

English Ivy: The English Ivy acts as an excellent purifier of the air, removing a number of pollutants from the air such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene with great efficiency. However, it requires temperature below 15 degree celsius to thrive which makes it least favorite plant for Indian weather conditions.

Lilyturf: A great plant that absorbs formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene from the air around it, the lilyturf is great to be kept in homes with dogs, cats and other animals as it is non-toxic in nature. It is the ideal purifier plant for homes with pets.

Purifier plants can surely give a much needed relief from the pollutants in the air!

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