Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Areca Palm Plant

I was at the corner store tonight and mentioned my mission of finding house plants that were good air purifiers, particularly focusing on benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. These chemicals are found in most houses. The store owner, Mike, gave me a really good deal on a small Areca Palm plant.
The two chemicals I'm most concerned with are benzene and fromaldehyde. Here's some info on benzene. From Wikipedia:

Benzene exposure has serious health effects. Outdoor air may contain low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, wood smoke, automobile service stations, the transfer of gasoline, exhaust from motor vehicles, and industrial emissions.[30] Vapors from products that contain benzene, such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents, can also be a source of exposure, although many of these have been modified or reformulated since the late 1970s to eliminate or reduce the benzene content. Air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations may contain higher levels of benzene.

From the CDC:
Indoor air generally contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents.

According to the Web Ecoist, the top 10 house plants to have are:
1) the Areca Palm
2) the Lady Palm
3) the Bamboo Palm
4) the Rubber Plant (toxic)
5) the Dracanea
6) English Ivy (especially good for mold!)
7) Dwarf Date Palm
8) Ficus Alii
9) the Boston Fern
10) the Peace Lily

What do YOU use to keep your indoor air clean?

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