Houseplants help “detoxify cancer-causing toxins” and may help you live longer

In addition to beautifully decorating the living room, indoor plants can also keep you healthy.

In a groundbreaking new study, plants have been found to remove cancer-causing pollutants from indoor air, and absorb toxins such as benzene that are normally emitted through burning fuels. Keeping leafy plants in the home has been linked to lower stress levels, which helps reduce allergy symptoms — and now evidence suggests they may help you live longer.

Results published Thursday showed that a mixture of plants removed 97 percent of the most toxic compounds from the surrounding air in just eight hours. Scientists have also discovered that the more toxic the air, the faster the plants work at removing the compounds.

The research, which was led by Assistant Professor Fraser Turby of the University of Technology Sydney and Ambius Landscapes, shows the critical role plants play in improving air quality.

Previous studies have shown that indoor plants can remove a wide range of indoor air pollutants. But this is the first study into the plants’ ability to clean up benzene fumes – one of the largest sources of toxic compounds in buildings around the world.

Inhaling gasoline vapors can lead to lung irritation and headaches. Nausea, and it has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases from long-term exposure—contributing to lower life expectancy.

Poor indoor air quality plays a role in millions of premature deaths worldwide(Photo: Getty Images/Cultura RF)

Poor indoor air quality causes 6.7 million premature deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization. Most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, so adopting new strategies to improve air quality is critical.

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