Do you know that formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas can cause severe health effects to us? Sources of formaldehyde are:-
- environmental tobacco smoke and combustion sources (burning wood, kerosene and by automobiles)
- preservatives in some paints, cosmetics and coating
- finish used to coat paper products
- pressed wood products and furniture made with these pressed wood products
- certain insulation materials such as urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) and fiberglass insulation
- durable press drapes, other textiles, and glues.
Wow! Looking at the list, there must be plenty of formaldehyde in our homes! The scary part is formaldehyde can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing when exposed at elevated levels. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans. Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma.
Since research shows that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, be sure to keep our homes well ventilated all the time. Besides that, try placing the following plants in your home:-
– Boston fern (Nephrolepsis Exaltata)
– Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)
– Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
– English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
Apparently, NASA in 1973 has made an experiment to find a solution to maintain air quality inside confined spaces and the results show that the above plants are able to remove pollutants from the air. Since different plants absorb different pollutants, it will be a good idea to mix a minimum of two plants per 100 square feet of floor space. Of course, there are no harms in having more (not in bedroom though, you will need the oxygen at night!) as long as you know where to place them.