As houses and other buildings are built or remodeled, toxins may be released into the air. The most common substances present are benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethlene. These chemicals can cause people to develop sick building syndrome, which may include headaches, sore throats or coughing as the University of Hawaii notes. Some plants have the ability to process these toxins and remove them from the air.
Chamaedorea seifrizii is one of the species known as the bamboo palm. Other names include the parlor palm and reed palm. This palm tree resembles bamboo and removes formaldehyde from the air.
Chrysanthemums, also commonly known as mums, are often used in floral arrangements. Keep them as a houseplant to remove benzene in the home.
The cornstalk plant (Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana') will grow up to 10 feet tall. The leaves feature a yellow stripe. Formaldehyde will be taken up by the cornstalk plant.
Devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum) is also commonly known as pothos. This vining houseplant features heart-shaped leaves that may be variegated. It will grow very fast and extract formaldehyde.
The dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) has striking red edges on its leaf blades. This plant may reach 9 feet tall. Benzene and trichloroethylene are eliminated by the dragon tree.
In its juvenile state, English Ivy (Hedera helix) is the familiar training vine with many varieties. It rarely matures to become a tree or shrub. Use English ivy to remove benzene from the air.
Ficus trees (Ficus spp.) are often used as houseplants and can absorb formaldehyde. Common species used in homes are the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), rubber tree (Ficus elastica) and the fiddleleaf fig (Ficus lyrata).
Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) are a staple of any floral shop. These pretty flowers work to eradicate benzene and trichloroethylene in the home.
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa') are often used in a vase to provide a home for betta fish. The work well in locations with little light and will filter out benzene and trichloroethylene.
There are many different philodendron species used in the landscape and home. You can buy a philodendron to remove formaldehyde.
The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurenti') is also known as the mother-in-law's tongue. This is one of the hardest houseplants to kill. It will also remove the toxin formaldehyde.
The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is very easy to grow. The plant will send out stems with baby plants. These can be snipped off and planted. Spider plants will take care of formaldehyde.