What is Ask Maria? It is a column that I write every week for different periodicals. This is where people write into me, and ask me questions.
I have been writing this column for over six years now.
Q: Is there an inexpensive way to clean the air in your home?
A: Yes, one way is to use plants. Plants not only add beauty to a room, but also
can help you breathe better. Plants have a calming effect on most people and their
root microbes are nature's biological cleaning machines. They purify and revitalize
the earth's air and water. Approximately 42 species of interior plants have been
evaluated for their ability to remove various indoor air contaminates from sealed
chambers. Plants can remove chemicals in the air and transport them to their roots.
Tropical plants excrete substances that protect their leaves from airborne molds
and mildew and when placed indoors, they continue to suppress airborne mold spores.
Ideally, humidity should range between 40-60%. Plants produce healthy, microbial-free
moisture. Plant filled rooms contained 50-60% fewer airborne mold and bacteria than
rooms with no plants. As a general guide, two or more medium to large plants
(14"-16" containers) per 100 sq.ft. of area are recommended. Of course, more plants
and larger plants would certainly increase effectiveness. Chemical pollutants commonly
found indoors such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene have structures similiar to
components found in tannic and humic acids, microbes adapt to biodegrade these chemicals
also...and wha la... the basis for plants ability to improve indoor air quality