Some of NASA’s past space station research can help you in your house. Studies were done with plants to see how to improve air quality for astronauts who had extended stays in space.
One contributing factor to the flu and cold season is that we must spend so much time indoors. Could indoor air make us sick? How’s the bad stuff getting in the air in the first place? One answer is formaldehyde – yes, the funeral parlor embalming stuff. It is used to make fabrics permanent press, in glues, and in lacquer for furniture finishes. It is in high amounts in MDF (medium density fiberboard). It is also in stain-resistant fabric finishes. All of it off-gasses into the air for years and years.
You could go out and build your own furniture, weave your own cloth, and stuff your own mattresses….. What! Too busy for that? Or to keep from feeling totally defeated by toxins you could get some plants. Yes, nature to the rescue! There are some plants with the ability to purify the air.
These are good for formaldehyde removal: aloe vera, elephant ear philodendron, bamboo or reed palm, rubber plant, ficus, Boston fern, Kimberly Queen fern, peace lily, English ivy, golden pothos, and chysanthemum.
For indoor air toxins in general, these are recommended: areca palm, lady palm, gerbera daisy, and parlor palm.