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Clean air through green thumbs!

Focus on Health: Grow your own air

by Bonnie McLAughlin and photojournalist Kyle Wanek, FOX 21 News DULUTH – Many of us spend most of our waking hours in a box that has been constructed to be as airtight as possible to reduce heating and cooling bills. That attention to effeciency has made indoor air quality something to gasp about. Benzene, formaldehyde gas, amonia, and acetone are just some of the pollutants emitted into the air by products from facial tissue to dry cleaned clothes. Making breathing in some buildings detrimental to your health. Which is why it’s a good thing that you can grow fresh air. Research shows that houseplants play an important role in filtering indoor air. Certain plants can even remove specific pollutants from the home or office. Three plants to that generate plenty of oxygen are the Areca Palm, Mother–in–Law’s Tongue and the Money Plant. Three plants that are natural air filtering systems are EnglishIivy, Asparagus Fern and the Purple Heart Plant. To remove potentially harmful chemicals in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke try Dragon Tree, Ficus, Spider plants, Chrysanthemums, Palms and Philodendrons. Be forewarned,though Philodendrons are also on the “avoid” list if you have chiildren at home. Some other’s to avoid as they pose a threat to little ones are Mistletoe, Pencil Cactus, Bird of Paradise, Diffenbachia and Holly Berry. A NASA study reported that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. Their recommendation is to use 15 to 18 “good–sized” house plants in 6– to 8–inch diameter containers for an 1,800 square–foot house.