Plants To The Rescue!

My stinkbusters

There’s a lot of talk about the way house plants can help with indoor air pollution. I’ve talked a lot about it here at various times, in fact.

It all goes back to those wild and crazy 70s. NASA started studying house plants (of all things) for the time when we started colonizing space.

Flash forward to the future. No space colonies in sight, but lots of folks are still studying house plants. And lots of studies have determines that several plants have very specific uses in cleaning the air of common household and indoor chemicals that our electronics, furniture, heating and cleaning products give off, for example.

So when they decided to re-carpet my workplace, I knew just what to do. New carpeting, no matter how well made, will off-gas formaldehyde. I react very badly to formaldehyde; so much so that I was forced to take my non-lab science classes in a different part of the science building because of the severe headaches I was getting. Thankfully, because it was a small class, I could be accommodated.

So weeks in advance of the new carpet installation in my office, I brought in new plants. I brought in plants that were known formaldehyde busters, if you want to think of it that way: snake plants, pothos, and peace lily. I also co-opted the office pothos for my own office until the project was over and I haven’t yet returned it back to its central location.

So I have 5 known “formaldehyde busters” in an office that is perhaps 10′ by 10′. I also have 2 cacti but I’m not sure they’re terribly helpful.

Even my boss was startled at the distinct difference in the “smell level” in my office versus the rest of the building. The plants are definitely working and I have suffered very little effect from the new carpet.

So if you are getting new “anything:” carpeting, furniture, mattresses, whatever. You might consider a few well placed plants in the affected room or rooms for a few days or weeks. Your lungs–even your overall health–might thank you!

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