Is the air in your home healthy?”

To the question, is the air in your home healthy, could you answer yes? The quality of the air we breathe is crucial to our health. According to a study conducted in 2021, 8 million people die every year due to poor air quality. In addition, a recent report by Ecologistas en Acción reveals that two out of three Spaniards breathe air that does not meet the health standards set by the European Union. This figure rises to 96.8% of the population if the stricter limits of the World Health Organisation (WHO) are considered. The main source of this pollution is road traffic, followed by industrial emissions and maritime and air transport. These statistics underline the importance of knowing about toxic exposures and taking steps to reduce them and improve your own and your family’s health.


Indoor air quality is a growing concern, especially in indoor environments where pollutants can easily accumulate. In addition to outdoor air pollution, there is high indoor air pollution from particulate matter such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and others.. These pollutants come from fabrics, furniture, carpets, air fresheners, cleaning products, paints, and more. For this reason, it is essential to create a healthy indoor environment with a specific protocol.

What is NASA’s Clean Air Study?

The study, led by scientist Bill Wolverton at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, investigated the ability of various indoor plants to remove pollutants from the air. The results were surprising: many plants proved to be effective in significantly reducing the concentrations of various pollutants.

Methodology of the study

Plant selection

Several species known for their hardiness and ease of care were selected, such as sansevieria, peace lily and bamboo palm.

Experimental configuration

Plants were placed in sealed chambers with known concentrations of different pollutants. The concentrations of these pollutants were measured before and after the introduction of the plants.

Components assessed

Both leaves and roots and associated micro-organisms in the soil were assessed, and it was found that a significant part of the pollutant removal occurred in the rhizosphere.

Main results

Plants and their purifying capacities

  1. Sansevieria (mother-in-law’s tongue): Capable of removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
  2. Peace lily (spathiphyllum): Effective in removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
  3. Palmera de bambú (Chamaedorea seifrizii): Eficaz en la eliminación de formaldehído, xileno y tolueno.
  4. English ivy (hedera helix): Capable of removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene.
  5. Dracaena marginata: effective in removing benzene and formaldehyde.
  6. Potos dorado (epipremnum aureum): Very resistant, removes benzene, formaldehyde and xylene.
  7. Chrysanthemum (chrysanthemum morifolium): highly effective in the removal of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
  8. Gerbera (gerbera jamesonii): effective in the removal of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

Summary table

Plant Benzene Formaldehyde Trichloroethylene Xylene Toluene
Sansevieria (mother-in-law tongue) Yes Yes Yes No No
Peace lily (spathiphyllum) Yes Yes Yes No No
Bamboo palm (chamaedorea seifrizii) Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Hiedra inglesa (hedera helix) Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Dracaena marginata Yes Yes No No No
Golden potos (epipremnum aureum) Yes Yes No Yes No
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) Yes Yes Yes No No
Gerbera (gerbera jamesonii) Yes Yes Yes No No


The NASA clean air study concluded that indoor plants can be a natural and effective solution to improve indoor air quality. By incorporating these plants into our homes, we not only beautify our surroundings, but also contribute to a healthier environment. However, it is crucial to understand that while these plants can help reduce some pollutants, they do not replace the need for environmental health medical advice to adequately address risks and improve quality of life.

Additional benefits

  • Humidity regulation: plants help regulate air humidity.
  • Oxygen production: oxygen levels increase, especially at night.
  • Improved well-being: the presence of plants can improve mood and reduce stress.

Final recommendations

If to the question Is the air in your home healthy? your answer would be no or I don’t know, then recommendations such as the use of specific plants, among others, can contribute to healthier air in your home. However, it is essential to complement these measures with medical advice on environmental health, especially if you have a health condition. This will help you to identify and effectively reduce exposure to toxins in your home.

If you would like to know more about environmental health medical advice, request a free orientation appointment on WhatsApp 669 979 939.

Dr. Carmen Romero