A poinsettia! That’s right: leafy potted plants can remove pollutants from indoor air, which may help to improve your health today and over time.
NASA scientists were the first to consider house plants as way to remove indoor air pollutants in space crafts that commonly cause headaches, itchy eyes, and eventually lead to chronic health problems. Decades later, studies suggest that plants may reduce toxic air pollutants from building supplies in homes as well.
Plant leaves, roots and micro-organisms in soil work together to capture toxic “VOC” gases that come from furnishings, building supplies, and other household products. It’s best to avoid toxics and get good ventilation, but plants are a good idea, too.
For more details, check out this story in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
So, go ahead and adopt a leafy friend! Some poinsettias are grown here in Oregon. They are not particularly toxic to kids or pets, and they take little care to last with bright color through March.
Worried about your pets or kids around a poinsettia?
Per the ASCPA poinsettias are not the deadly flowers that popular legend has made them out to be. These striking plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are part of a family of plants known as spurges. During the 1820s Joel Robert Poinsett, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, first brought poinsettias to the U.S. from a Mexican city he had visited. The myth of the plant’s toxicity began in the early part of the 20th century when the two-year-old child of a U.S. Army officer was alleged to have died from consuming a poinsettia leaf.
As a result of this rumor, the toxic potential of poinsettia has become highly exaggerated. In reality, poinsettia ingestions typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may include drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Keeping this plant out of the reach of your pet to avoid stomach upset is still a good idea, but you need not banish the poinsettia from your home for fear of a fatal exposure.
Source: Oregon Environmental Council