For a Breath of Fresher Air

by Mike Hunter

Plants are more than an esthetic reprieve for our eyes. Since NASA began researching ways to improve air quality for astronauts in closed environments in space, we’ve learned that they can counter some of the toxins our made environment surrounds us with — in addition, of course, to recycling our carbon-dioxide exhalations into the oxygen we need to breathe.

Areca Palm

Like many palms, this is a general-purpose toxin-fighter. Will eventually grow to six or seven feet tall, adding six to ten inches a year.

Golden Pothos

This twining houseplant can clean the air of carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde. Toxic to pets if eaten.

Madagascar Dragon Tree

One of the best at ridding xylene and trichloroethylene from indoor air.  Does well in low light. Spiky leaves grow to a foot or more; the plant, up to six feet.

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