Recall: Dole Spinach

Dole recalls bagged spinach due to salmonella risk

Dole Fresh Vegetables issued a voluntary recall of their bagged spinach on Tuesday due to possible salmonella contamination.

According to Food Safety News, a sample of Dole Spinach salad yielded a positive result for Salmonella in a random sample test conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development’s Laboratory Division.

The recalled product is coded A27409B & A27409A, with an “enjoy by” date of October 15 and UPC 7143000976. The product code and “enjoy by” date can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back, below the barcode.

The affected products were distributed in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

At this time, no illness have been reported in association with the recall.

Consumers who have the product should not consume it but discard it. Retailers and consumers with questions are advised to call the Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center at (800) 356-3111, which is open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday.

Exposure to salmonella can lead to salmonellosis, a bacteria foodborne illness that may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Symptoms typically appear within 12 to 72 hours of exposure, and the illness usually last up to seven days, according to the USDA. Infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most likely to develop a severe form of the illness


Help For: The Agony of Da Feet!

FYI: Toxin Methylene Chloride

Common Solvent Keeps Killing Workers, Consumers

Regulators have been slow to act on paint strippers, other products containing methylene chloride

Rita Welch’s son, Johnathan, died on the job at 18 while stripping furniture with methylene chloride.*

By Jamie Smith Hopkins
5:00 am, September 21, 2015  Updated: 12:26 pm, September 21, 2015


Johnathan Welch was 18 and working through lunch when the fumes killed him, stealing oxygen from his brain, stopping his heart.

The chemical linked to his death in 1999 wasn’t a newly discovered hazard, nor was it hard to acquire. Methylene chloride, which triggered similar deaths dating as far back as the 1940s, could be bought barely diluted in products on retail shelves.

It still can. And it’s still killing people.

The solvent is common in paint strippers, widely available products with labels that warn of cancer risks but do not make clear the possibility of rapid death. In areas where the fumes can concentrate, workers and consumers risk asphyxiation or a heart attack while taking care of seemingly routine tasks.

That hazard prompted the European Union to pull methylene chloride paint strippers from general use in 2011. For reasons that aren’t clear, regulatory agencies in the United States have not followed suit — or even required better warnings — despite decades of evidence about the dangers, a Center for Public Integrity investigation found.

A Center analysis identified at least 56 accidental exposure deaths linked to methylene chloride since 1980 in the U.S. Thirty-one occurred before Johnathan Welch died, 24 after. The most recent was in July. Many involved paint strippers; in other cases victims used the chemical for tasks such as cleaning and gluing carpet, according to death investigations and autopsy reports the Center obtained through Freedom of Information Act and state open records requests.

Teenagers on the job, a mother of four, workers nearing retirement, an 80-year-old man — the toxic vapors took them all. A Colorado resident one year older than Welch was killed his first day at a furniture-stripping shop. Three South Carolina workers were felled in a single incident in 1986. Church maintenance employee Steve Duarte, 24, survived the Iraq War only to be killed in 2010 while stripping a baptismal pool in California.
Three decades of death

Methylene chloride, a common ingredient in products such as paint strippers, can kill when its fumes build up in an enclosed area. The Center for Public Integrity, combing through workplace death investigations, coroners’ reports and poison control center reports, found 56 deaths since 1980 that authorities linked to unintentional overexposure to the chemical. The number is likely an undercount because there is no single tally of such deaths. Unless otherwise noted, the key source of information is the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration or state workplace-safety agencies.


(TYH Note:  *This sentence has been edited slightly for publication on this blog)


Ready for disaster? Here are some items you may not have thought of
Home & Garden  By Bonnie McCarthySURVIVAL_GEAR

House and Home
American Red Cross

What are we going to wish we had on hand after a disaster? For those of us who have prepared our preparedness kits but still have the nagging feeling we’re forgetting something, we’ve found three experts to help us fill in the blanks.

Training Season

Bud Darling, owner of Safe N’ Ready Emergency Supplies in Pasadena, compares emergency preparations to preseason training for the NFL. “Nobody knows exactly what they’re going to meet, but if you practice, when the reality gets there you’re not afraid of it.”

Darling and his wife are members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a nationwide program that trains civilians to manage and extinguish small fires, control bleeding, treat shock, open airways for breathing, provide basic first aid, safely execute light search and rescue procedures, organize groups of spontaneous volunteers, and collect information to provide to first responders. The free program is offered in Los Angeles County to adults ages 18 and over, and registration information is available online at or by calling the Los Angeles Fire Department CERT unit at (213) 893-9840.

“Probably the biggest mistake people make is believing that somebody else is going to come and rescue them,” Darling says. “You need to stand on your own.”

Organize Ahead

“When I give disaster preparedness workshops,” says Judith Kolberg, author of “Organize for Disaster,” “I have people write down 10 things they’re going to grab if they have a day’s warning, then narrow it down to five … then narrow it to three. Really know ahead of time what you need to have,” says Kolberg. “If you’re lucky enough to have some warning, you can pull things together … but sometimes you just have seconds or minutes. Knowing ahead of time what’s valuable to you is important.”

It’s important, Kolberg says, to save the details of personal accounts, log-in information, and scanned documents ahead of time. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the computer you have to give a little bit of thought to. If you’re a small business owner or work out of your home, you need to have all the [digital files] you would need in order to pick up and start your business again. You can save it with a flash drive.”

Kolberg also recommends uploading important digital collections such as photos or genealogy to the cloud (using sites such as for photos or and creating a Twitter account if you don’t have one. “It may help you communicate in a disaster.”

Meet-up and Meds

Russ Paulsen, executive director for community preparedness and resilience services at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., says there are two relatively easy steps that are often forgotten when it comes to worst-case scenario plans. The first? A communication plan. If the phones don’t work, agree upon a physical location to meet.

The second? Maintenance medication or medicine, like an asthma inhaler or EpiPen. “Shelters will generally have something for you to eat and a place to be, but shelters aren’t pharmacies.” Paulsen says.


Emergency supplies: Tools to put on the list for earthquakes and more

From the Archives: Imagine: Rain, rain, stored away

Green ‘Gypsy Kitchen’ on wheels: Living artfully in smaller spaces

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

Originally published April 19 2012
How to use lemon juice to replace toxic chemicals in your home
by Elizabeth Walling

(NaturalNews) You don’t have to waste money on toxic chemicals to clean your home, treat a cold, or pamper your skin. Lemon juice is a simple, natural alternative that can replace countless bottles of over-priced chemicals.

10 creative ways to use lemon juice

1. Grease removal – A mixture of plain water and lemon juice is tough enough to bust through any grease on your kitchen appliances and counter tops.

2. Disinfect and deodorize your kitchen – Is your refrigerator or cutting board really clean? Surfaces where we prepare and store food need to be clean, but this is also exactly where we don’t want to use toxic chemical cleaners. Lemon juice is excellent for disinfecting these surfaces, and will also remove unpleasant stains and odors.

3. Sooth a cough – Mix some raw honey with an equal amount of lemon juice to ease your coughing. This also works well for a sore throat.

4. Enhance digestion – Fresh lemon juice in water can aid digestion during meals. It’s also a great way to hydrate in the morning when you first wake up.

5. Tone your skin – Use a cotton ball to apply a light layer of diluted lemon juice to your skin. Let it sit for ten minutes and then rinse away with cool water. The lemon juice will naturally exfoliate your skin, and can also lighten dark spots and scars.

6. Clean glass – Lemon juice is just what you need to bring the sparkle back to that dull vase, coffee pot or decanter. You can also use one part lemon juice in ten parts water to shine your windows.

7. Clean and soften your hands – Lemon juice is excellent for removing stains and odors left on your hands. Lightly scrub the lemon juice into your hands with a sponge, then rinse and moisturize as usual. Your hands will feel clean, soft and fresh.

8. Remove tarnish – A simple paste of table salt and lemon juice can make tarnished copper, chrome and brass gleam again. Apply the mixture, allow it to sit for ten minutes, then rinse with warm water and buff gently to shine.

9. Get sun-kissed hair highlights – Chemicals used to lighten hair can be highly toxic. Get natural highlights by spritzing your hair with lemon juice before you go out in the sun. As an added bonus, rinsing your hair with lemon juice removes build-up and gives your locks incredible shine.

10. Clean your toilet – Toilet cleaning products are harsh and unnecessary. A mixture of borax powder and lemon juice will leave your toilet looking (and smelling) as good as new!

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit


Kraft Recalls 2 Million Pounds Of Turkey Bacon


If you’re a fan of turkey bacon and are used to eating some for breakfast, you may want to look a little closer at your package.

Kraft Heinz Foods Company is recalling more than 2 million pounds of turkey bacon that may spoil before the “best-by-” date.

The problem was discovered after the company received reports of illness related to the consumption of the bacon.

Kraft Heinz says approximately 2,068,467 pounds of turkey bacon produced between May 31 and August 6 are affected. They came packaged in the following configurations:

56 oz. cardboard boxes (containing four plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer “Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 4470007633 0, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 24 AUG 2015 through 26 OCT 2015.

36 oz. cardboard boxes (containing three plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154874 8, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 28 AUG 2015 through 20 OCT 2015.

48 oz. cardboard boxes (containing four plastic wrapped packages) marked Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon “Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed” bearing the plant number P-9070, the line number RS19 and Product UPC 0 7187154879 3, and with “Best When Used By” dates of 3 SEPT 2015 through 30 OCT 2015.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-9070” inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as the line number “RS19”. These items were shipped nationwide and exported to the Bahamas and St. Martin.

Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Kraft Heinz Consumer Relations Center at (800) 278-3403. Media with questions about the recall can contact Jody Moore, Head of Communications, at (847) 646-4538.
Aug 26, 2015
By Marcus Lumpkin


Published on Alternet (

11 Tips for Conserving Water
By Brittany Wienke [1] / Rainforest Alliance [2]
August 29, 2015

Taking a long hot shower is something many of us take for granted, just like turning on the tap when we need to drink, bathe or cook. But for the 750 million people [3] around the world who lack access to clean and safe water, finding enough to cook, clean, or bathe with is a harrowing daily ordeal.

By 2030, almost half the world’s population [4] will live in areas of high water stress, due to a combination of climate change, irresponsible water policies and rapid population growth. The mega-drought [5] in the western United States is likely to cause an agricultural crisis [6], while the wildfires ravaging California [7], Alaska [8] and British Columbia [9] signal that our forests have grown dry and brittle.

Water conservation and protection is a central element of the Rainforest Alliance’s work with farms, forests, and tourism businesses. Shade requirements for coffee farms, wastewater treatment measures and buffer zones to prevent the erosion and contamination of waterways are just some of many proven methods we promote in order to protect Earth’s most vital resource.

You can do your part by making some simple changes to your daily routine!

1. Consider the distance.The transportation of food and other goods requires a great deal of water. It takes anywhere from 2.8 to 6.6 gallons of water [10] to produce one gallon of crude oil. When you choose local foods, you’re eliminating many of these hidden water expenditures from the supply chain. And when you’re checking out at an online retailer, ask yourself—do you really need two-day shipping? Patience is a water-saving virtue.

Hanjin cargo ship and tugboat near Savannah, Georgia (image: mwms1916/Flickr CC)

2. When you buy products grown in the tropics (like coffee, tea, chocolate or bananas), look for the green frog seal [11]. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms prioritize water conservation and the protection of local streams and waterways.

3. Buy less clothing, shop at vintage or used clothing stores, swap clothing (this is a great party idea), and recycle your old clothes [12]. The average consumer goes through 35 pounds [13] of new cotton clothing per year — and cotton is one of the thirstiest crops out there: It can take more than 20,000 liters [14] of water to produce 1 kg of cotton. And buying secondhand takes you out of the “fast fashion” cycle — you won’t be supporting unethical labor practices or unsafe working conditions [15].

4. Investigate organic options, which may use less water depending on where they come from. For example, rain-fed organic cotton from Brazil takes just 10.6 gallons [16] of water per pound to manufacture compared with the 782 gallons of water required to grow organic cotton in drought-stricken California. You can also choose clothing made from alternative fibers, like hemp [17], tencel [16], or silk. These fibers require less land and water than cotton, and they can be grown organically.

Leme, Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 10, 2005. A cotton picker worker during the harvest in Brazil. (image: AFNR/

5. Stop buying bottled water. To visualize how much oil it takes to make a single-use bottle, imagine filling the bottle one-quarter full of oil [18]. That’s a lot for a single-use item. Only 15 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled, while every single day 66 million bottles [19] end up in landfills, or, more likely, as land or ocean litter. Try instead a reusable water bottle made out of BPA-free plastic or aluminum* (with caution*), filled with tap water [20].

6. Skip baths in favor of short showers [21] under a water-saving shower head, which can reduce the amount used in showering by 40 percent! Bonus tip: the simple act of shutting off the faucet while you shave and lather can save up to 75 gallons of water per week.

7. Do laundry only when you have a full load. Use the appropriate water settings and upgrade to energy- and water-efficient washers and dryers. Since there’s a hidden water cost in all energy use, air-drying your clothing saves both energy and water.

8. Choose responsibly produced cardboard and paper [22]— and recycle every scrap! The Rainforest Alliance-FSC certified seal indicates responsible forestry methods that include the protection of waterways. And for every pound of paper you recycle, you can save 3.5 gallons of water.

9. Calculate your household water use with this handy tool [23] and challenge yourself and everyone else in your household to lower your impact.

10. Water your lawn/or garden mindfully. Nearly 30 percent of daily water use in the U.S. alone is devoted to outdoor use, and of that water, about 50 percent [24] is lost to evaporation. The best time of day to water is in the evening just before the sun sets, when the temperature has dropped, and water is less likely to evaporate. Use a watering can or triggered hose if possible, and keep the stream close to the ground so the water goes right to the roots.

11. Wash your dishes efficiently: If you wash dishes by hand [25], try the 2-sink method: scrape every bit of food you can off the dish, then wash in a basin full of hot, soapy water, followed by a quick rinse in a basin of cold, clean water. But using a dishwasher properly can actually use less water [26] than handwashing. Also consider upgrading your old dishwasher to a new ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwasher [27], which uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and saves nearly 5,000 gallons of water a year.\


4 Ways Bottled Water Ruins the Environment — and Your Health [28]

Five Easy Life Hacks to Help the Environment — And Your Own Health [29]

8 Car Hacks for a Cheaper, Eco-Friendlier and More Patriotic Ride [30]

Amazing New Process Treats Wastewater, Captures Carbon and Makes Renewable Energy [31]

You May Be Surprised That These Eight Major World Cities Are Running out of Water [32]

Brittany Wienke is Communications & Media Outreach Associate at Rainforest Alliance.
Source URL:

[33] on 11 Tips for Conserving Water

Cataracts: New Treatment?

Blue eye

attribution: wiki commons

Cataracts are the number one cause of vision impairment and blindness in the world. If you are over 40 years old you have an almost 1 in 5 chance of developing cataracts. The only treatments for cataracts up until now have been surgical—cutting away build up on the eye’s lens.

Coming up with a solution other than surgery has been tough. Scientists have been hunting for years for mutations in crystallin proteins that might offer new insights and pave the way to an alternate therapy. Now, it looks like a team led by University of California (UC), San Diego, molecular biologist Ling Zhao may have done just that. Her team came up with the eye drop idea after finding that children with a genetically inherited form of cataracts shared a mutation that stopped the production of lanosterol, an important steroid in the body. When their parents did not have the same mutation, the adults produced lanosterol and had no cataracts.

Any non-surgical breakthrough in medicine is great news. However, cataracts affect so many people and are an even bigger problem in areas of the world where people have less money. According to the World Health Organization:

About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings.

And unoperated cataracts account for a third of those visually impaired. The researchers have used human lens cells in a lab and they have used rabbits and dogs.

“This is a really comprehensive and compelling paper—the strongest I’ve seen of its kind in a decade,” says Jonathan King, a molecular biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge not affiliated with the study. He has been investigating cataract proteins since 2000. “They discovered the phenomena and then followed with all of the experiments that you should do—that’s as biologically relevant as you can get.”Ruben Abagyan, co-author of the paper and molecular biologist at UC San Diego, is looking forward to seeing what the lanosterol drops can dissolve next. “I think the natural next step is looking to translate it into humans,” he says. “There’s nothing more exciting than that.”

Originally posted to weinenkel on Thu Aug 20, 2015 at 12:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Good News.


How plastic food containers could be making you fat, infertile and sick

Chris Kresser

In previous articles here, here and here, I wrote about the dangers of an environmental toxin called bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a chemical that is found in several plastics and plastic additives. It’s in the water bottles some folks carry to gyms, the canned tomatoes and coconut milk they cook with, and in the baby bottles moms use to feed their infants.

We’ve known for decades that BPA has estrogenic activity. In vivo animal studies and in vitro cell-culture research has linked low-level estrogenic activity associated with BPA exposure to all kinds of fun stuff, like diabetes, ADHD, heart disease, infertility and cancer.

There is now significant evidence suggesting that even low levels of BPA-exposure can cause harm, and this is particularly true in vulnerable populations like pregnant women, infants and the chronically ill. (1)

Because of this research, and the growing public awareness that BPA should be avoided, a new crop of “BPA-free” plastic food containers and baby bottles has been introduced. However, a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in July has shown that even BPA-free plastics have chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA), and can cause serious health problems as a result. (2)

What is “estrogenic activity” (EA)?

Chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA) are those that mimic or antagonize the actions of naturally occurring estrogens. These chemicals are capable of binding with one or more of the nuclear estrogen receptors in the body.

The best way to think of chemicals with EA is as a counterfeit key fitting into a loose lock. When these chemicals activate the estrogen receptor, they produce an increase in circulating estrogen, which in turn can cause problems such as early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, altered function of the reproductive organs, obesity, increased rates of certain cancers and problems with infant and childhood development. (3)

As I mentioned above, vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, developing fetuses, infants and children are especially sensitive to even very low doses of chemicals with EA. (4(READ MORE)


Types of Houseplants To Clean Indoor Air

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Why invest in expensive electrical air purifiers when you could purchase a few types of houseplants to clean and filter the air naturally and inexpensively?

Much of the research on these beneficial houseplants has been done by NASA scientists researching ways to create suitable space station habitats. All indoors plants (flowering or not) are able to purify indoor air to some degree through their normal photosynthesis processes. But some were found to be more beneficial than others in removing harmful household toxins, even removing 90% of chemicals in the air in only twenty-four hours!

The three main household toxins of concern are:

  • benzene
  • formaldahyde
  • trichloroethylene

These carcinogenic chemicals are used in the manufacturing of synthetic substances and materials and are off-gased from new materials for some time (up to several years, depending on the material of product in question). Benzene can also be emitted from gas ranges during use, making some types of houseplants below great for use in the kitchen.

This means these types of houseplants may just decrease your risk of cancers, asthma, allergies, auto-immune disorders and other diseases.

Tips for Choosing and Caring for Your Plants

Below you’ll find the common name and botanical name of each plant, its benefit to you and your home and a few ideas of the type of care it needs.

Along with a corresponding photo and the following tips, you can decide which plant is best for your home.

  • Choose one 10- to 12-inch potted plant per 100 square foot of your home for the most effective air purification.
  • Cross-reference several care guides to check for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Because common names can very, be sure to cross-reference the botanical name of any plant you get to ensure it will do the job you need it to do.
  • Consider where you might place your plants and the amount of sun they will receive to ensure your plant will thrive in that area.
  • Make note of the water needed and write it on a calendar so that you can keep the watering schedules balanced.
  • Periodically dust the leaves of each plant with a damp cloth to ensure proper absorption of air particles and toxins.
  • Keep their soil replenished with rich compost or compost tea. Avoid non-organic or synthetic fertilizers.
  • Whenever possible, capture rainwater for your plants. All types of houseplants thrive best with natural sources of water.

IMPORTANT: Please note that these houseplants are good for purifying air, but that doesn’t mean they are safe for pets or kids who like to put things in their mouth. Check out this list for more details, read the descriptions of each plant, and do some research on any plant you bring into your home.

Nineteen Houseplants That Clean Indoor Air

The following list of beneficial types of houseplants should get you started in finding the right plants for your home.

Common Name: Aloe Vera
Botanical Name: Aloe barbadensis

Benefits: Not only can it be used for burns on the skin, it is also known to remove formaldahyde from the air.

Notes: Needs well-drained soil with slight drying between waterings, full sun is best with protection from high heats. Although largely known for its healing properties, it is considered to be an irritant to some.

Common Name: Areca Palm
Botanical Name: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens

Benefits: General air purifier, especially as it grows larger. It’s known for being one of the better performers in purifying the air.

Notes: Moderately drought tolerant and prefers partial sun and well-drained soil.

Common Name: Baby Rubber Plant
Botanical Name: Peperomia obtusifolia or Ficus robusta

Benefits: These houseplants clean the air by emitting high oxygen content, and purifies indoor air by removing chemicals, such as formaldahyde or other toxins.

Notes: Likes filtered light, infrequent watering and rich soil. I’ve found conflicting information as to whether or not this plant contains any poisonous parts.

Common Name: Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm
Botanical Name: Chamaedorea seifrizii

Benefits: According to NASA, it removes formaldahyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.

Notes: Likes bright, indirect light and prefers to remain moist but not too much and doesn’t like sitting in water.

Common Name: Boston Fern
Botanical Name: Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis

Benefits: Said to act as a natural air humidifier, removes formaldahyde and is a general air purifier. Said to be among the best in air purifying houseplants.

Notes: Likes bright light and damp soil but can be tolerant of drought or partial light.

Common Name: Chinese Evergreen
Botanical Name: Aglaonema sp.

Benefits: Emits high oxygen content, and purifies indoor air by removing chemicals, such as formaldahyde, benzene or other toxins.

Notes: Does well with full shade and good draining; variegated plants need more sunlight. The sap of this plant is considered poisonous and is an irritant.

Common Name: Corn Cane or Mass Cane
Botanical Name: Dracaena massangeana or dracaena fragrans Massangeana

Benefits: Known for removing formaldahyde and known generally as one of the houseplants that clean the air.

Notes: Does great with low light and low water.

Common Name: Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm
Botanical Name: Phoenix roebelenii

Benefits: Said to remove formaldehyde and xylene (a chemical found in plastics and solvents) from the air.

Notes: Loves lots of sun, moist soil and warm water.

Common Name: English Ivy
Botanical Name: Hedera helix

Benefits: It’s known for removing the chemical benzene, a known carcinogen found in cigarette smoke, detergents, pesticides, and the off-gasing of other synthetic materials, is said to be fantastic for asthma and allergies and also removes formaldehyde.

Notes: Can be invasive, making it great for a potted plant.

Common Name: Ficus alii
Botanical Name: Ficus maeleilandii alii

Benefits: Said to be a great overall air purifier.

Notes: These types of houseplants love indirect sunlight; be careful not to overwater. Those with allergies to latex may react to this plant!

Common Name: Gerbera Daisy
Botanical Name: Gerbera sp. or Gerbera jamesonii

Benefits: NASA says this plant is fantastic at removing benzene, a known cancer-causing chemical. It also absorbs carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen overnight, which is said to improve your sleep!

Notes: Likes bright light

Common Name: Golden Pothos
Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum syn. Scindapsus aureus

Benefits: NASA places this plant among the top 3 types of houseplants great for removing formaldhyde. Also known for removing carbon monoxide and increasing general indoor air quality.

Notes: Needs less water in colder temps and partial sun.

Common Name: Janet Craig
Botanical Name: Draecana deremensis

Benefits: Lady Palm is said to be a good overall air purifier, removing most air pollutants.

Notes: Prefers indirect sunlight, and watering without fertilizers.

Common Name: Kimberly Queen Fern
Botanical Name: Nephrolepis obliterata

Benefits: These types of houseplants clean formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene out of your home.

Notes: Prefers bright but indirect sunlight, with dry soil between waterings (but not dry for too long).

Common Name: Lady Palm (plus 10+ varieties)
Botanical Name: Rhapis Excelsa

Benefits: These types of houseplants are said to be a good overall air purifier, removing most air pollutants.

Notes: Prefers partial sun all day and shade in the winter, with more frequent water in hotter months, but never allow to sit in water or be overwatered.

Common Name: Marginata or Dragon tree
Botanical Name: Dracaena marginata

Benefits: Known for purifying the air of the carcinogen, benzene, commonly found in the off-gasing of synthetic materials, ciagerette smoke and other household chemicals. Also known for removing formaldahyde, xylene (found in varnishes, paints and paint thinners) and trichloroethylene (found in solvents) from the air.

Notes: It requires little attention, tolerates dry soil and irregular watering and prefers no direct sunlight. It is, however, susceptible to fluoride toxicity (so fluoridated water sources may need to be avoided).

Common Name: Moth Orchid
Botanical Name: Phalaenopsis

Benefits: Said to remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldahyde commonly off-gased from paints, solvents and other synthetic materials.

Notes: Thrives in high humidity, lots of light (but not hot, mid-day sun) and thorough waterings with, unlike many types of houseplants, almost complete drying out between.

Common Name: Mums
Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum sp. or Chrysanthemum morifolium

Benefits: Very effective at removing benzene, a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) associated with most chemicals, plastics, cigarettes and off-gasing. Also removes trichloroethylene (found in solvets and cleaners), formaldehyde and ammonia.

Notes: Likes partial sun, and lots of water. Although they’re among the houseplants that clean the air, they only flower once and are generally annual plants, especially when planted outdoors.

Common Name: Peace Lily
Botanical Name: Spathiphyllum sp.

Benefits: Known for removing benzene, a common household chemical and known carcinogen. It’s also said to remove mold spores in the air, making it great for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms; purifying the air of trichloroethylene, a chemical found in cleaners and solvents; and removing alcohols, acetone, and formaldehyde.

Notes: Easy to care for, it prefers lots of water, less often and bright, indirect light.

Common Name: Philodendron
Botanical Name: P. cordatum, P.scandens or P. selloum

Benefits: Also noted by NASA among the best tyoes of houseplants for removing formaldahyde, especially higher concentrations.

Notes: Philodendrons are considered poisonous, so keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Common Name: Snake Plant
Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata

Benefits: Found by NASA to absorb toxins, such as nitrogen oxides and formaldahyde.

Notes: It tolerates low light levels and irregular watering (and needs only a few waterings throughout winter).

Common Name: Schefflera, or Umbrella Tree
Botanical Name: Brassaia actinophylla

Benefits: Said to remove benzene (a carcinogenic substance) from the air.

Notes: Can be toxic to pets and children. Prfers bright but indirect sun and lots of water and humidity.

Common Name: Spider Plant
Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum

Benefits: NASA places this plant among the top 3 types of houseplants that are great at removing formaldahyde. Also removes carbon monoxide and other toxins or impurities.

Notes: Likes bright, indirect light and lots of water while growing.

Common Name: Warneckii or Dracanaena warneckei
Botanical Name: Dracaena deremeusis or Dracanea deremensis warneckei

Benefits: Known for removing trichloroethylene, a chemical found in many solvents, dry cleaning solutions and refrigerants. Also said to remove benzene, a carcinogene.

Notes: Moderate sun and water needs, but, like most types of houseplants, dislikes sitting in water. Avoid fluoridated water sources.

Common Name: Weeping Fig or Ficus Tree
Botanical Name: Ficus benjamina

Benefits: Known to remove common airborn toxins and increase oxygen levels.

Notes: Prefers bright light and sun, but is also shade-tolerant. Moderate water needs for these types of houseplants.

Reader Questions

I live in an apartment on the 2nd floor. The people below me smoke. It comes through the air vents (I think) in the bedroom and bedroom bathroom. The bathroom gets absolutely no light. The bedroom has a large window facing southeast but also gets late afternoon sun. What kind of plants might survive in the dark shower/toilet area? What plants for very indirect lighting in the sink and dressing area? What plants for the bedroom? (For the moment I have open baking soda containers in each area.) Thank you so very much. – Susan S.

Hi Susan! I’m so sorry to hear about this. What a yucky situation. All plants need at least some light, but from my own personal experience the plant that has been the best for us has been Philodendron (a pic of which can be found above). We’ve had it in some really low light situations and it still lived (although didn’t thrive until it gone a little more light). What you might find necessary though is to take your plants and outdoors for a few hours or place it in a full sun window, doing either 1-2x a week.

If that doesn’t work it may well be worth it in this scenario to invest in an air purifier (or even a grow light for hydroponic plants that you can use a coupe hours a day, perhaps on a timer). I’d also highly recommend looking into local laws as I do believe that the apartment management may be liable by law to better seal the vents or air exchange between apartments for this reason. I hope this helps! Good luck!

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