Want an easy way to have healthier and less toxic air in your house? Get some houseplants. From household cleaners to new carpets and furniture, many items in your house put out nasty gases that can be bad for your health. Also known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, these compounds are released continuously and slowly into the air you breathe everyday.
While over time the products in your home giving off these harsh airborne compounds reduce over time that does not help you while you and your loved ones are being exposed to them. Imaging your young children or house pets who play and sleep on the floor close to where these VOCs are given off direct from the source. Not a happy thought. The best solution is to try and use low or no VOC products. Many paint manufacturers these days offer low and no VOC products. Make sure you shop around and look for green building products that are made by companies who put the environment and health first. Unfortunately the cheaply made home products are more likely to have higher levels of VOCs.
Certain plants use these VOCs in their own biological processes and therefore help purify the air you breathe by filtering the VOCs out. While you may have reduced in home sources of VOC toxins, using plants to help clean the air from outside sources might be best for those more sensitive to VOCs. To figure out which plants work best start by visiting this Wikipedia page. The Wikipedia page will tell you which plants filter which VOCs and also let you know if the plant can be toxic to pets and small children if accidently eaten.