January 14, 2019

We spend a lot of our time indoors, so it’s crucial to our health that we make sure to keep the air that we breathe clean. It might not seem like it, but there are several sources of air pollution within indoor spaces that may cause health problems like headaches, sore eyes, or fatigue.

So, where are these air pollutants coming from?

The key to controlling indoor air pollution and improving air quality is to understand what the source of the problem is. According to the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), indoor air pollutants were ranked as one of the top five environmental health risks we face today. If they’re not dealt with, these pollutants can build up and float around in amounts greater than what we should be breathing in.


  • Radioactive gas formed in soil
  • Can enter homes through cracks in floor and walls
  • Leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers
Secondhand Smoke
  • Caused by burning tobacco products
  • Can cause cancer and respiratory illnesses
  • Especially harmful to children
Combustion Pollutants
  • Gases/particles that come from burning materials
  • Sources* include:
    - gas stoves
    - fireplaces
    - dryers
    - water heaters
    - space heaters
*Improperly vented or unvented fuel-burning appliances
  • Living things that produce spores
  • Spores float around and land on damp surfaces, where they grow
  • Inhalation can cause fever-type symptoms
  • Can trigger asthma attacks
Asthma Triggers
  • Can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathing problems
  • Include: 
    - mold
    - dust mites
    - secondhand smoke
    - pet dander
Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Can cause irritation in eyes, nose and throat, headaches, nausea, and damage to the central nervous system
  • Some can cause cancer
  • Sources include:
    - cleaning supplies
    - paints
    - air fresheners
    - pesticides
    - dry-cleaned clothing
    - office equipment

Lucky for us, there’s a simple and affordable way for us to deal with this issue.

NASA scientists have conducted studies that suggest houseplants are able to purify air. These studies show that indoor plants are capable of absorbing the following harmful chemicals that float around in the air we breathe: 

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Ammonia
  • And many more! 

Beyond their air-purifying qualities, there are many benefits that come with having plants indoors. Houseplants are known to reduce stress and create more positive spaces, allowing people to stay alert and reduce fatigue.

According to NASA’s research, the Spider Plant, the Chinese Evergreen, and the Peace Lily were amongst the most effective air filtering plants, and it doesn't hurt that they'd also make beautiful additions to any indoor space. You can find these, along with a wide variety of others, in our own collection of air-purifying plants!


Author: Angela Morilla

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