From respiratory diseases, cancer, stroke to lung diseases such as asthma and heart disease, both indoor and outdoor pollution are a cause of harmful diseases. According to a report by the World Health Organisation, 4.3 million people worldwide die due to poor air quality prevailing inside the house. Around 3.8 million premature deaths occur annually from non-communicable diseases including ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are all attributed to exposure to household air pollution.

From cooking method, cleaning products, deodorant, detergents to hair sprays, air fresheners, furniture polish and dust, different factors are responsible for surge and decline in levels of indoor air pollution. But as much as your actions contribute in increasing the levels of air pollution, they can also help in bringing it down.

Something as natural as plants, nature’s own air purifiers, can help you in keeping your house clear of air pollution by tackling the following pollutants-

• Formaldehyde, which comes from carpets and particle boards
• Tetrachloroethylene is a synthetic chemical that is widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics and for metal-degreasing operations
• Benzene which comes from detergents, paints, furniture wax, thinner and other things
• Xylene and Toluene which are used in some coloring pens, markers, spray paints, shoe polishes, adhesives
• Carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxides
• Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which comes solvents and chemicals in perfumes, hair sprays, air fresheners and furniture polish
• Biological pollutants which constitute of dust, fungi, allergens

   1. Aloe Vera  (Aloe barbadensis)

Easy to grow, succulent Aloe Vera plant comes with a bag full of benefits. While with its presence, it helps in filtering benzene and formaldehyde that comes from carpets and particle boards, its extract aids in healing cuts, burns and skin problems. The sun-loving plant requires a lot of sunlight and little water. Also, you don’t need big space or pot to plant it. A small pot filled with soil and a leaf will work. Just keep it in your drawing room, near a window, and reap its benefits.

   2. Spider Plant (Chlorohytum comosum)

Spider plant, also known as air plant, grows and spreads quickly. The plant fights against carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene which comes from detergents, paints, furniture wax, thinner and other things.

 Just like Aloe Vera, cut of one of the spiders leaves and place it in a pot and watch it grow. 

Spider plants neither require direct sunlight nor do they need to be put under cold weather. Keeping it in a room or in an office corridor will serve the purpose.

   3. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)


Low-maintenance snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, because of the shape and texture, is known for filtering formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene from the air. The catch is, unlike regular plants, snake plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. Keeping it in your house, can help you get direct oxygen.

   4. Bamboo Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

Bamboo Palm is one of the best plants to filter out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. Along with this, the plant makes for a pretty indoor plant, to be kept near a bedside table. The best thing about this plant is, it does not need water regularly, and in fact it does well only when it is underwatered, as compared to other plants.

   5. Gerber Daisies (Gerbera jamesonii)

Gerber Daisies have bright and colourful flowers. Not only do they look beautiful, they are great at absorbing carbon monoxide and benzene. This plant gives off oxygen at night; it is ideal for bedrooms.

Its colorful display, high transpiration rate and ability to cleanse the air of toxic gases make this a highly valued seasonal indoor plant.