There are a wide variety of toxic chemicals lurking in your home, and while you can take steps to minimize them, one the most prevalent chemicals in your home isn't easy to get rid of.
Formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound that's emitted in low levels by a variety of household building products and furniture, may cause cancer in humans and has been known to trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions when present in high levels.
The good news: you have a cheap, easy, green tool at your disposal to help get rid of it. Add these five household plants that NASA scientists have discovered help remove formaldehyde and purify air to your home for a safer, cleaner atmosphere.
Boston Ferns remove more formaldehyde than any other plant. They're also highly efficient at removing other indoor air pollutants, such as benzene and xylene - components of gasoline exhaust that can migrate indoors if you have an attached garage.
Palm trees seem particularly good at removing indoor air pollutants, specifically formaldehyde, and they're relatively easy to care for. The best at formaldehyde removal is the Dwarf Date Palm, which is closest in appearance to the palm trees that remind you of warmer climates, but you'll also get clean air with a Bamboo, Areca, or Parlor Palm.
Rubber Plants and Janet Craigs
If you've got a dim office that's just screaming for cleaner air and a little touch of nature, try a rubber plant or Janet Craig. Both will tolerate very little sun - although they may grow more slowly - and are at the top of the list for formaldehyde removers, which is particularly important in offices where most furniture is made from particleboard.
Grown outdoors, English Ivy is an invasive species that can damage your home's exterior and tear off your gutters, but bring it inside, and it becomes an effective formaldehyde remover. Thanks to its ability to climb structures, it's easy to grow as topiary in your living spaces.
One of the few houseplants that will bloom indoors, the Peace Lily with its seashell-shaped spathes really will bring a touch of summer into a dreary winter. One of the best plants for removing formaldehyde, it also removes benzene and certain VOCs that are emitted by harsh cleaning products.