Believe it or not, the air inside the homes in your homeowners association may be less healthy than the air outdoors. Modern and well-insulated homes can actually trap pollutants, thus raising their potential for harm. Several common houseplants, however, can help your community breathe easier by increasing oxygen levels and removing toxins from the air -- who knew?!
Homes can contain pollutants like:
- Volatile organic compounds (e.g., chemicals in paints, cleaning supplies, waxes, building materials, furnishings, pesticides, air fresheners and dry-cleaned items)
- Gases (like radon and carbon dioxide)
- Second-hand smoke
Please see below a list of ten natural air purifiers that would be helpful to pass along to the residents in your homeowners association.
For maximum effectiveness, residents should aim for at least two plants in 10 to 12 inch pots per 100 square feet of space. Another helpful tip for your residents: it is important not to overwater household plants, which can lead to mold – another pollutant to watch out for!
10 Natural Plant Air Purifiers
- English Ivy
- Lady Palm
- Boston Fern
- Snake Plant
- Golden Pothos
- Wax Begonia
- Red-Edged Dracaena
- Spider Plant
- Peace Lily (This variety is poisonous to pets, so place with caution.)
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.
Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.
Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person's exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened.
The important to thing is to be informed and take all the proper precautions needed. If you’d like more information about possible air pollutants in your home, visit the EPA website here.
As an HOA board, going above and beyond to help keep your homeowners association residents safe and healthy as possible is important – and your residents will appreciate it too!