If you want to bring in some more life to your office space or home, there is a very good and natural way to do this. Bring in some plant life to help clean your environment and purify the air that you breathe. Recent studies and research on plants and how they can be helpful to purify air have indicated that not all plants have the same purifying capacity. Certain plants seem to be working far better than others when it comes to cleaning the air. The studies were set up and led by Vadoud Niri, Ph.D., a well-known and leading California-based professor of chemistry.

The majority of people are totally unaware that there are so many volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s) surrounding us in our living or working spaces. VOC’s surround us in our homes and offices due to paint, cigarette smoke, furniture, cleaning supplies, copiers & printers, or clothes that must be dry-cleaned. All sorts of buildings, both old and new, are usually containing high levels of VOC’s, sometimes even to the extent that you smell them, says Niri.

If you want to reduce the risk of serious and long-term health issues, take a look at what impact the following five plants may have on your office space or living quarters:

1. Dracaena (Latin: Dracaena frangas)

While all five plants described in this article showed pretty good results when it comes to removing acetone from the air (a chemical substance for example found in nail-polish remover), the Dracaena plant showed the best results. It absorbed no less than 94% of all these toxic gasses from the air in a 12-hour period. This was much higher than the other plants.

2. Jade Plant (Latin: Crassula argentea)

Jade plants are low-maintenance succulents that symbolize luck, money, and friendship. These plants were highly effective when it comes to removing the toxic chemical toluene from the air. In a 12-hour study, the Jade plant removed 91% of this odorous chemical from the air which is usually found in stuff like paint thinner.

3. Spider Plant (Latin: Chrolophytum comosum)
Th wonderful Spider Plant was highly effective in removing toxic chemicals often found in rubber, ink, adhesives, varnishes, or paint. Over the same study of 12 hours, the spider plant had absorbed 93% of o-Xylenes, more than 90% of p-Xylenes, and more than 60% of Ethylbenzene from the air. These toxic substances thrive in practically all environments, so if you want a cleaner and healthier environment, consider getting a few of these wonderful plants!

4. Bromeliad (Latin: Guzmania lingulata)

The plant Bromeliad is related to the pineapple. The plant can be best used to remove benzene from your air. Benzene is actually a very toxic gas that comes from cigarette smoke and motor vehicles exhausts. In the same study time, the bromeliad plant removed from the air not only more than 90% of benzene, but also over 80% of six other chemicals used in this study. This really makes the bromeliad a fantastic plant your office or living space.

5. Caribbean Tree Cactus (Latin: Consolea falcata)

If you like cacti, the Caribbean Tree Cactus is perfect for you. It is thriving very well in a lot of sunlight, and it produces beautiful tiny flowers. It was not as successful in removing chemicals from the air as the above-listed plants, but it still is still is highly effective if you want to purify the air that you breathe. The Caribbean Tree Cactus had removed some 80% acetone, ethylbenzene, and p-Xylenes, and just over 60% of o-Xylene, toluene, and benzene in the same studies.

So these are great and interesting results! Choose whichever of these five plants you like, you’re always good! These plants use what we call ‘Biofiltration’, and this process has been the subject of many studies since the 1980’s. Research has also been carried out by NASA which resulted in their own list of the useful plants that they believe are perfect to hold in your office or home!