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Thursday, April 21, 2011

How To Reduce House Toxins

Where do toxins come from? 

Toxins come from the common cleaning Supplies that you buy in the supermarket. newly painted rooms give off toxins. New furniture is frequently treated with flame retardants and cleaners that give off toxins. 

New carpets give off toxins, as well as stained or sealed woods and plastics are treated with chemicals that release ongoing toxins into the air in your home or office which can be harmful to you and your family members, especially young children. 

In addition, copiers and ink can release toxic fumes into the air as well.. 

Common House Toxins and Their Sources

Benzene is released into the air from gasoline, inks, oils, paint, plastic and rubber. It is also used in some detergents and dyes.

"Benzene has long been known to irritate the skin and eyes. In addition, it has been shown to be mutagenic to bacterial cell culture and has shown embryotoxic activity and carcinogenicity in some tests. Evidence also exists that benzene may be a contributing factor in chromosomal aberrations and leukemia in humans. Repeated skin contact with benzene will cause drying, inflammation, blistering and dermatitis.

Acute inhalation of high levels of benzene has been reported to cause dizziness, weakness, euphoria, headache, nausea, blurred vision, respiratory diseases, tremors, irregular heartbeat, liver and kidney damage, paralysis and unconsciousness. In animal tests inhalation of benzene led to cataract formation and diseases of the blood and lymphatic systems. Chronic exposure to even relatively low levels causes headaches, loss of appetite, drowsiness, nervousness, psychological disturbances and diseases of the blood system, including anemia and bone marrow diseases." ( quoted from an article in a website called Zone 10 ) http://www.zone10.com/wpSource/wp-content/themes/lifestyle_10/images/zone10-headerF.jp

Formaldehyde is a very common toxin in most homes because it is used in urea-formaldehyde foam insulation and particle board or pressed-wood products. Grocery bags, waxed paper, tissues and paper towels are also frequently treated with urea formaldehyde resins. In addition, many common cleaning products contain formaldehyde.

"Formaldehyde irritates the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. It is also a highly reactive chemical which combines with protein and can cause allergic contact dermatitis. The most widely reported symptoms from exposure to high levels of this chemical include irritation of the eyes and headaches. Until recently, the most serious of the diseases attributed to formaldehyde exposure was asthma.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently conducted research which has caused formaldehyde to be strongly suspected of causing a rare type of throat cancer in long-term occupants of mobile homes."( quoted from an article in a website called Zone 10 ) http://www.zone10.com/wpSource/wp-content/themes/lifestyle_10/images/zone10-headerF.jpg

Trichloroethylene is found in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives.

 Certain Varieties of House Plants can Help Remove Toxins from the Air!!

Although it may be difficult to avoid using some of these products, there are precautions you can take to help reduce your exposure to harmful toxins.

Scientific studies conducted by NASA and the Associate Landscape Contractors of America reveal that certain types of common house plants have been found to help absorb airborn toxins.

Results of the Plant Studies
information quoted from the following website: http://www.humeseeds.com/purify.htm
  • "Gerbera daisy, Dracaena Marginata, Peace lily (Spathiphyllum), Dracaena 'Janet Craig' and Bamboo palm in order were the five most effective plants in removing Trichloroethylene concentrations from the air.
  • Gerbera Daisy, pot Mum, Peace lily, Bamboo palm, Dracaena Warneckei, English ivy and Mother-in-law's tongue are the seven top houseplants for removing Benzene concentrations in the air.
  • Bamboo palm, Dracaena 'Janet Craig', Mother-in-law's tongue, Dracaena Marginata, Peace lily, green Spider plant, and golden pathos are seven of the top plants for removing concentrations of Formaldehyde in the air.
  • 15-20 are needed plants are needed to purify an 1,800 square foot house.    

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat disease. Always check with your doctor if you need medical treatment or before making any changes in diet or lifestyle.


  1. I totally agree with this and wish I had more plants!

  2. Hi Judee,
    This is a great post. Information we all need. I always had to be on the alert for toxins in our home for family members and friends who might have allergies. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week! Have a very special week end!

  3. I enjoyed this post. I have allergies and a touch of asthma--I've been cleaning house this weekend, and even though I'm using natural products, I still feel a little breathless. I'm definitely buying some plants, as my printer is less than a foot away. It's bound to be as awful as a copier. I'll look forward to more hints.

  4. i am a new follower and hope you follow back i am trying to go gluten free but it seems soooo hard to find products and what you find is extremely expensive im excited to have found your blog the DR's Say it's best for my SON

  5. Hi Judee! Thanks for sharing your post on plants to help reduce air-born toxins on last week's Fresh Clean and Pure Friday/Seasonal Saturday. I featured it today and hope that you can stop by again! Have a lovely weekend! Roz

  6. Found this post truly helpful. Makes me wish I haven't devoted so much time to raising orchids... Now I have to shift gears. I wonder if these plants are safe for pets?
    I'm a new follower.


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