The rubber plant (Ficus robusta) was named one of the top 20 plants by Dr. B.C. "Bill" Wolverton's "Eco Friendly House Plants." The rubber plant adds humidity, removes bioeffluents, removes chemical toxins and suppresses airborne microbes when added to a room. Rooms filled with rubber plants and plants such as dwarf date palms, English ivy or spider plants can help reduce airborne molds and bacteria by 50 to 60 percent.
Rubber Plant As A Houseplant
Rubber plants are ideal hardy houseplants that can survive and thrive in low-light conditions. The rubber plant can easily grow up to 6 feet tall indoors. The plant can be pruned to keep its size under control. Leaves of the rubber plant measure between 8 to 12 inches long and are oval in shape. The leaves are tough, glossy and rubbery.
Rubber plants work well at removing formaldehyde in the home. Formaldehyde is used in many aspects of a home's construction. Particle board, wood flooring, carpets and many pressed-wood products contain the chemical. Formaldehyde can be a strong irritant to the human nose, throat and eyes. The chemical has also been found to be a carcinogen.
Rubber Plant And Toxins
Over time the rubber plant becomes more adept at breaking down toxins found in the air. Microbes inside the rubber plant break down the toxins and feed on them. The process then releases clean air into the environment. As the plant grows, the microbes increase. The increased microbes aid the rubber plant in becoming more efficient at breaking down additional toxins in the air.
Rubber plants remove trichlorethylene from the air. Trichlorethylene is often found in paint, paint products, heating and electrical supplies. The chemical causes liver damage and long-term exposure can often lead to various cancers.
Benzene is often found in tobacco smoke, paints, plastics and household cleaning products. The fumes can cause headache, anemia and even bone marrow diseases. The rubber plant, spider plant, weeping fig and dumb cane plants have been found to significantly lower the benzene found in household air.