houseplant
Natural Air Purifiers: Indoor Plants for Baby Nursery

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated in 2004 that on average, Americans spend about 90 percent or more of their time indoors.

Since the advent of the 1970’s energy crisis, there have been major steps by the building industry and by home owners to save energy by making our buildings and homes more air tight. Massive campaigns to save energy concentrated on sealing cracks around doors, adding insulation and replacing leaky windows. Designing and creating new homes and buildings so that they were “sealed hermetically” with hi-tech weather-resistant barrier cloth “wraps” prevented infiltration of outdoor air, moisture and water. This change, intended to help reduce energy costs, replaced the more traditional “breathing” building envelope and made our new and remodeled buildings more like a vacuum bottle.

One of the major challenges that this generated is that the toxic out-gassing vapors from modern building products, furnishings and electronics are being trapped and re-circulated inside our commercial buildings and homes. A 1984 World Health Organization Committee report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality (IAQ). We’ve entered an age where sick building syndrome (SBS) is to being held as the major suspect for our increased symptoms of chronic respiratory and nasal congestion, headache, fatigue and nervous system disorders, asthma and allergies, and nose, throat and eye irritations.

Good News
NASA space program research has scientifically proven that certain indoor house plants clean polluted indoor air and alleviate “sick building syndrome” (SBS).

The plant kingdom provides us with vital oxygen to inhale. Besides absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary compound of air that we humans exhale, some common house plants such as the Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) and Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.), and the Boston Fern ( Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”) are highly effective in removing toxic, modern building and furnishings chemicals like formaldehyde, acetone, and benzene, making them great plants for baby nurseries.

Creating Vitality
By placing and maintaining carefully selected, “child safe”, air purifying house plants in your home, you can naturally cleanse the air that you and your family is breathing.

Naturally purified, fresh air is most needed in our homes in the crucial areas where we spend most of our time – nurseries and bedrooms, and spaces where we study, work, play and relax. Placing the most appropriate plants in our sleep spaces can remove harmful formaldehyde. Plants can clear our “breathing zone” in our home or work office that is laden with a toxic chemical odor cloud from computers, printers and fax machines.

Safety
While some house plants may clean indoor air well, several may be toxic in other ways and need to be avoided inside/around your healthy family home. Please check plants you are interested in bringing into your home on sites such as www.calpoision.org to ensure you are making healthy choices.

Data that was collected by the American Association of Poison Control Centers in 2004 indicated that plants were the eleventh most commonly reported substance involved in human toxic exposures and that children 5 years old and younger were responsible for most of these exposures.