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Non-toxic air cleaning houseplants?

Jacqueline jacquelinejunk at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 24 14:24:16 EST 2002

Hi, we just moved into a new condo, and something is wrong with the
air in here.  My husband and I are both getting congested, with
itchy/burning eyes and nose.  We've had the windows open a lot, but as
they are building a new grocery store across the street from our
window, its very noisy to have them open during the day, so that
limits how many hours we can have them open.  We have had them open at
least a few hours every day and after a week whatever it is that is
bothering us still hasn't been flushed out.

It could be the stain treatment on the new furniture and mattress (I
can smell chemicals on the new furniture), it could be the new paint,
it could be something done to the carpets, it could be the residues of
the cleaning products used by the previous owners, I don't know.  But
its bothering us a lot, I wake up every morning feeling sick. :(

We'd like to get some house plants that meet the following criteria:
1) Non-toxic to our cats (who will, given their previous behavior,
most certainly chew on them)
2) Good air cleaners, we'd like to get a variety of plants that clean
a variety of things out, as we don't know what exactly the problem is
3) Hard to kill (we are not good at keeping delicate house plants

Can anyone advise us as to which types of house plants we should look
into?  I know about spider plants, what else?

Also, any advice on how to keep the cats from molesting them?  We're
thinking we're either going to have to hang them from the ceiling or
build plant boxes too high for them to reach.  When we had plants
before the cats would knock them over and knock dirt everywhere EVERY
SINGLE DAY!  That's one of the main reasons we got rid of our old

Thanks in advance for your help.


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