Tobacco smoke in the home can cause poor indoor air quality and may affect the health of children, the elderly and those with respiratory concerns. In addition, most commercial brands of cigarettes that contain tobacco also contain harmful chemical pollutants such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Fresh air is commonly thought of as the best combatant for releasing tobacco smoke from the indoor air but certain indoor plants can be useful for removing toxins and improving the quality of the air.
The SixWise website recommends the Peace Lily to help clear tobacco pollutants from indoor air. Also referred to the genus name Spathiphyllum, the Peace Lily is known for broad, deep green leaves and spade-shaped white flowers. The Peace Lily is thought to be effective at removing indoor contaminates such as benzene and formaldehyde. The plant thrives in shady areas, may droop slightly from excessive sunlight and it typically requires watering about once a week. The leaves of the Peace Lily are often highly glossy and may need to be dusted from time to time.
The spider plant is a trailing perennial characterized by countless long, narrow, arcing leaves that originate from the center of the plant and mimic the shape of a spider with many legs. A healthy spider plant also produces vine-like offshoots that blossom with tiny white flowers which then turn into baby spider plants that can easily be removed and rooted in water.
Most spider plants are fairly low-maintenance and thrive in moderate sunlight with weekly or bi-weekly watering. According to the EarthWitchery website, the spider plant is effective at removing up to 96 percent of carbon monoxide. Along with the carbon monoxide present in tobacco smoke, the spider plant can also remove formaldehyde and xylene.
Chrysanthemums can also be effective at removing the carbon monoxide and formaldehyde emitted from tobacco smoke. Not only do they help improve indoor air quality and remove dangerous pollutants from cigarette smoke and other chemicals inside the home but Chrysanthemums also add cheer to any room with their brightly colored flowers.
Chrysanthemums enjoy a combination of sunlight and shade and their petals can be damaged or withered from excessive sunlight or too much watering. Place your Chrysanthemums in an area where they will receive partial sunlight for several hours a day, and water them only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.