Nov 15, 2017

Plants To Reduce Toxicity In Your Home

On average, we spend 90% of our time indoors in schools, offices, or at home. If you're not reading labels on items like furniture, accessories, fabrics, pet toys, carpeting and cleaning supplies, (the list is significantly more extensive) then you may be exposing you and your family to toxic chemicals that constantly offgas into your indoor air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Some brief examples:
Furniture is frequently made with materials and adhesives (glue) including MDF (Medium density fiberboard), press board, and other wood products imported from Asia that contain formalin, formaldehyde, and toxic finishes. Accessories made in China are frequently painted with colorants that are toxic to hold as well as inhale. Watch out for lead in paints, wire baskets, string lights, 'decorative use only' ceramics and vases etc... Fabrics are often sprayed with flame retardants, nanoparticles that help with stain resistance, and even fabric protectors that are toxic. Ever wonder how they got the glowing green ball you throw to your dog?  If it's made in China, beware of the chemicals in the colorant and the plastic and don't allow your dog to chew and swallow any part of it. I recommend eco-friendly, non-toxic toys made in the US. The European Union has banned toxic pet toys.The backing and adhesives in carpeting have come a long way, but you need to read the label on what you are purchasing. Even gym and tumbling mats have substances that off-gas, and again, have been studied and banned in Europe.Air fresheners are the worst products you can use. They often contain phthalate and even insecticides. Take a look at what the NRDC says. Household cleaners are a waste land of chemicals that include petroleum distillates, chlorine, insecticide, formaldehyde, thiourea, and so many more. If the label says AVOID contact with skin, and use in a well ventilated area, don't use it to clean your home.  DIY cleaners are safe and effective.
So. other than banning these items - especially in environments with children, older adults and pets  - what can you do?  Buy plants.  Here  are the top 3 easy care plants that you can use in your home and office, to  help purify the air.

1. Areca Palm : While you’re spending time in your room, this plant is hard at work doing its best oxygen delivery in the daytime. For optimal air cleaning you should have one 4' high plant per room.

2.  Mother-in-Law's Tongue or snake plant: Great for a bedroom since it works best delivering oxygen in the evening. Grab 6-8 plants per person.

3. Peace Lilly: Filters formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and a host of other volatile organic compounds (VOC).

As you head out to the plant nursery, consider that NASA studies recommend that you use one 6-8 inch diameter plant for every 100 square feet of your home.  Also check the plants you select for toxicity to dogs and cats via the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals so your furry friends don’t find a dangerous salad to snack on.

Finish with a planter that suits your style! Baskets, tin buckets, ceramic and metal are available for every style.