Sure, they're pretty, inexpensive, and, uh, green, but there's more to the average houseplant than meets the new mom's sleep-deprived eye. A study by NASA (yep, the folks who send people into outer space) found that the houseplants listed below literally reduce air pollution. How? All plants recycle oxygen, but these particular varieties break down pollutants, too, removing from 10 to 90 percent of harmful formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene chemicals from the 100 square feet surrounding them in just 24 hours! This flora
isn't baby-safe, though, so position these (and any other) plants well out of your little one's reach. Here are five good choices for better breathing in your house; for more easy ideas on improving your home's
air quality, go to epa.gov/iaq/homes.
- Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifritizii)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
- English ivy (Hedera helix)
- Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Janet craig (Dracaena deremensis)