Snake plants are only known as houseplants that can be used to decorate homes. However, did you know that snake plants also have health benefits? Similar to other household succulents, snake plants can also help to filter indoor air. At night, this plant converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen. Because it helps regulate healthy airflow, it is suitable for decorating your bedroom.
As well as being known for removing toxic air pollutants, these plants have another benefit. They can absorb cancer-causing pollutants including benzene, CO2, xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde in small amounts. These plants can function as a protective shield against airborne allergies, since they are capable of absorbing and removing dangerous toxins from the air.
Removing Air Pollutants with Snake Plants
Air pollutants can be removed by snake plants. Snake plants can absorb compounds such as CO2, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene. The pollutants in these gases are known to cause cancer.
NASA confirmed that plants with larger leaf surfaces can purify the air more effectively in a 1989 experiment. Snake plant is one of the plants.
Now let’s learn about each of these cancer-causing pollutants.
According to a study published in 2015 on Indoor CO2 consequences, people who breathe more carbon dioxide at work, home, in the classroom and other places have difficulties learning and performing. How is it possible? It is because the increase in CO2 affects the cognitive skills and productivity. Furthermore, it may cause other side effects such as nausea and dizziness.
A study held at Naresuan University, Thailand, found that tall snake plants with 60 to 80 cm can reduce CO2 levels in offices with 4 to 5 snake plants.
A lot of benzene is found inside the home, from cooling and heating systems, paints, solvents, smoking cigarettes, among other things. If you are exposed to benzene, you may suffer from nausea, headaches, and vomiting. The worst thing is that chronic exposure to benzene can cause cancers that affect blood cells. It has been proven by a lot of medical research.
Snake plants can absorb benzene from your home. According to a NASA study, snake plants can remove 52.6% in a sealed chamber.
Among other things, formaldehyde is produced by burning fuel, smoking, cooking, painting, cosmetics, and cooking. Formaldehyde is listed on the WHO guidelines for indoor air quality. If your formaldehyde levels rise, your throat, nose, and eyes may be irritated and may pose breathing issues. Chronic exposure to formaldehyde can cause rare nose and throat cancers.
The snake plant can reduce formaldehyde levels. Approximately 31,294 micrograms of mercury can be removed in 24 hours by a snake plant, according to a NASA experiment.
Are you aware that xylene is dangerous to humans? It can be found in varnish, paint thinners, paint, pesticides, rust preventives, and removers. You will get nose and throat irritation if there is a small concentration of xylene in your environment.
Snake plants can remove xylene if you have them at home.
Trichloroethylene and Toluene
Trichloroethylene (TCE) can be found in adhesives, varnishes, paint removers, lacquers, and printing inks. TCE causes cancer. Short-term exposure to TCE can irritate the upper respiratory tract, cause nausea, headaches, and fatigue. Cancer can also be caused by it.
Toluene affects mental health and causes nervous system dysfunction. Toluene exposure over a long period of time may cause necrosis. It can also affect the reproductive system of females as well as the development of children. Toluene is primarily found in plastic and soda bottles, gasoline, paint solvents, and paint cosmetics.
It is possible to reduce the risk of Trichloroethylene and Toluene exposure by planting snake plants indoors. According to an experiment, snake plants can remove up to 13.4 percent of TCE within 24 hours of exposure.
Night-time CO2 Absorption by Snake Plants
As a result of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), snake plants can decrease the level of CO2 at night. What is it? Photosynthesis takes place in one particular way in CAM organisms. Plants that thrive in dry climates, such as succulents, can tolerate drought. In hot weather, they minimize water loss by opening their stomata at night.
Snake Plants to Combat Allergies
A few plants are capable of releasing oxygen, reducing CO2 and absorbing dangerous volatile organic compounds. Plants of this type can decrease the likelihood of airborne allergies. This is one of the things snake plants are capable of.
It doesn’t matter if you think that you don’t need snake plants because you use air filters and purifiers – snake plants can still help you improve the quality of your indoor air.
Snake plants are valuable because besides their health benefits as you can see above, they are also low maintenance. These do not need to be watered every day. They only need to be watered when they need it if they are indoors. If the soil needs watering, you can check it. Even though it would be better for the plants to be in a brighter area, you are able to put them anywhere because they are also tolerant of low light. It is possible to repot every three to five years. Adding fertilizer twice a year is also possible.
Besides serving as a decorative item in your home, snake plants also provide a number of health benefits.