Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Air-Filtering Plants That Are Non-Toxic to Dogs & Cats

A while ago I came across some information on Apartment Therapy about plants filtering the air in your home. BUT I have two small dogs and a cat! So which plants are safe around them? I did some world wide web research and I came up with a list of plants (because I didn't find one out there). See the list after the jump!

You should know that this list is composed of plants which are non-toxic for both cats and dogs only (not horses) based on the ASPCA's database of toxic/non-toxic plants information. I compared the ASPCA's information with a list of air-filtering plants I found from Wikipedia (sources for both can be found at the bottom of this post). There may be air-filtering plants which have been omitted that are either specifically non-toxic to only dogs or non-toxic to only cats (for those of you who have only one of the species).
Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) filters xylene and toluene
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) filters formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) filters formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) filters formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) filters formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene
Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) filters benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Leopard orchid* (Dendrobium gracilicaule) filters xylene and toluene
* Wikipedia's list of air-filtering plants states "Dendrobium orchid (Dendrobium sp.)". Meaning all orchid species filter air. BUT, the ASPCA only lists the Leopard Orchid as of 9/13/2011 3:00 pm PST. I have not found any information which states all orchid species are non-toxic.
According to Wolverton & Wolverton's research, "the most effective house plant tested for removing formaldehyde from sealed chambers was [the Boston fern]" (12).

Quick facts about these chemical compounds:
  • They are commonly found indoors and are toxic.
  • Benzene can be found in tobacco smoke, motor exhaust, industrial emissions, glues, paints, furniture wax, detergents, plastics, resins, nylon, synthetic fibers, rubbers, lubricants, dyes, drugs, and pesticides. A Natural source of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires.
  • Formaldehyde can be found in wood products (plywood/particle board), paints, varnishes, floor finishes, cigarette smoke, fertilizer, paper, food preservative i some foods, antiseptics, medicines, and cosmetics.
  • Trichloroethylene can be found in adhesives, cleaning fluids for rugs, paint removers/strippers, spot removers, and typewriter correction fluids.
  • Xylene can be found in cleaning agents, paint thinner, paint, and varnishes.
  • Toluene can be found in paints, paint thinners, fingernail polish, lacquers, adhesives, rubber, and printing and tanning processes.
I know, this list of plants is small, but that's all I could find with what information Wikipedia and the ASPCA's websites had. Also, maybe you can relate, I live in a small 1-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and our two small dogs and cat. So space-wise, for us, we would only really have 5 plants max. Realistically, I'm looking for 2-3 plants for our humble abode.

During my comparative research, some plants on Wikipedia's list did not show up in the ASPCA's database for toxic and non-toxic plants. Therefore, those specific plants have been excluded from my list of course. Those plants may be added in the future (and may be determined to be non-toxic) so you may want to do your own research if you'd like to find out more information on other plants.

This list/information is based on research I did from comparing the two websites cited below. If changes/updates have been made to either of them since I made this post, it is up to you to find out the most current information. I am not accountable for any choices you may make in having any of these listed plants in your home which may be accidentally or intentionally consumed. If you intend on putting any plants in your home based on this list or not, please do further research to double check that they are safe around your two-legged and four-legged family.

Click here for a helpful site about plants only. They have descriptions, soil and light information, etc. Just search for the plant by name.

If you're curious about the toxicity of any substance, this is a cool website I came across.

ASPCA Toxic/Non-Toxic Search Used to compare and form list of plants

Air-Filtering Plants - Wikipedia Used to compare and form list of plants

Updated: September 13, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment