We usually think of air pollution as being outdoors, but the air in your house or office could also be polluted. Sometimes 2 to 5 times higher than outdoors. Sources of indoor pollution include:
- Mold and pollen
- Tobacco smoke
- Household products and pesticides
- Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide
- Materials used in the building such as asbestos, formaldehyde and lead
These pollutants and particles affect our eyes dramatically by creating super dry indoor air, which can also cause a host of health issues including chronic dry eye.
Plants are indispensable to human life. Through photosynthesis, they convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen and then can also remove toxins from the air. Besides helping your eyes studies suggest that having house plants can reduce stress and increasing attention span.
House plants increase humidity in the air through a process known as transpiration. Transpiration is the loss of water from a plant in the form of water vapor. Water is absorbed by roots from the soil and transported as a liquid to the leaves. In the leaves, small pores allow water to escape as a vapor. Of all the water absorbed by plants, less than 5% remains in the plant for growth. Certain high transpiration plants also remove up to 87% of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours. The bigger and leafier the plant the better.
Best air purifying indoor plants based on a 1989 experiment by NASA:
- Dwarf date palm
- Peace Lily
- Spider Plant
- Rubber Plant
- Boston Fern
- Areca Palms
- Pineapple Plant
- Snake Plant
- Aloe Vera
- English Ivy
- Flamingo Lily
- Lady Palm
- Chinese Evergreen
- Kimberly Queen Fern
- Bamboo palm
Besides helping your eyes, studies suggests that having houseplants can reduce stress and increase attention span. House plants are not only pleasant living companions, but that they also provide a number of evidence-based health benefits. Studies have shown plants can knock out stress by calming the sympathetic nervous system, and can also make people feel happier. More research shows spending time around nature has a positive effect on a person’s mood and energy levels.