Indoor Succulent Plants Clean Air of Acetone

Acetone is a strong chemical found in many cosmetics.  The good news is that succulent plants clean air of  acetone.  This short Scientific American video highlights the benefits of using plants to clean the air of toxins.  You can, of course, buy and run electric fans with HEPPA filters to clean the air but that can get expensive.  Plants are inexpensive and will also add to the beauty of your home or office.  Indoor air cleaning succulent plants are easy to care for and will normally live a long time.

Indoor Succulent Plants Clean Air of Acetone

Air pollution outside is easy to spot hanging over the city or sputtering from a tailpipe.  But there’s a lot of indoor air pollution too even if it’s not as obvious.

This is Scientific American’s 60-second science.  I’m Christopher Intagliata.  Got a minute?

It’s caused by volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

“They can come from building materials like paints, carpets; home and personal care products like cleaning chemicals, air freshener, etc.“  [Vadoud Niri, Analytical Chemist, SUNY Oswego, State University of New York Oswego]  “And also they can come from cosmetics.”

And that cosmetics part is what caught Niri’s attention.

“One day when I went to a nail salon with my wife I noticed the smell of specifically acetone in there.”

Acetone can irritate your eyes, skin, nose and throat and in high concentrations can cause nausea, headaches or other nervous system problems.   Niri figured that one way to get rid of acetone might be with houseplants.  He then ran his own experiment using an airtight chamber, eight VOCs in concentrations similar to those found in nail salons, and five common houseplants; a jade plant, a spider plant, a bromeliad, a Caribbean tree cactus, and what’s known as a dracaena plant.  It turns out after a 12 hour test it was the bromeliad that scrubbed the most chemicals from the air, but as for his original quest removing acetone from nail salons, the dracaena beat all the others sucking up ninety-four percent of the offensive compound.  He presented the results at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

For a house her apartment he says:

“Use a variety of plants to make sure that you take all type of VOC’s from your indoor air.”

Plus they’re an energy free alternative to other air cleaning devices.  In other words, a truly green solution.  Thanks for the minute for scientific American’s 60-Second Science.  I’m Christopher Intagliata [Music]

Our Summary:  An excellent, concise, and well documented analysis of 5 air purifying plants.  Very informative for a short video.  In study after study the research shows the benefits of placing plants, especially succulents, in your home and office to clean the toxic indoor air.  Some plants do better than others at cleaning the air but the idea is to just get started.  Place any of these plants around your home and office and your air will be passively cleansed while you don’t have to do anything else.  Succulents may be the best choice of plants to clean the air simply because they are so easy to grow.

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