I was always taught that plants were important -- that flowers, trees, and all green life had some role, and since I can remember we've always had plants in our house, and to this day I have three plants in my room (philodendron, cactus) and one at my office (cactus). I like to see growth over time, and plants are usually full of color. I was happy then, when I was shared an online article recently discussing the health benefits of certain plants, because of their ability to clean toxins (ammonia is in most major cleaning products, and formaldehyde can be found in dozens of household items, for example) that we're all exposed to within our homes and places of business on a daily basis.
Azalea help to clear the air of ammonia, philodendron are protective against formaldehyde and pentachlorophenol (used in major pesticides and disinfectants), and the most interesting -- cactus are able to absorb electromagnetic waves from computers and other devices. If you are a smoker or have a neighbor in your building with an oder issue, you can try Ivy, Kentia Palm, or Ficus to mitigate the odor, though this likely wouldn't do much in an instance of heavy indoor smoking.
The link below has the full article with some more information on certain plants, how the process works, and what types of home products often have these toxic materials (hint, it's more than you think!).
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