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20 Houseplants That Clear Toxins From Your Home

Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses (such as the common cold), remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure, reduce allergies, improve sleep and much more.

The 20 plants listed below are specifically known for their air purifying properties. And while an open window may feel like all the fresh air you need, did you know that everything from toilet paper to common household cleaners can contain chemicals and release toxins like formaldehyde? Or that VOCs like benzene can be released into the air by everything from the paint on your walls, to the printed material found in your home?

So why not breathe a bit easier and enjoy the beauty of a new houseplant at the same time! A warning for pet owners: some common plants can cause toxicity in pets. Please check this list of common poisonous plantsbefore bringing home a house plant.

(All plants listed will clear CO2 and may clear more VOCs than noted.)

Related: 7 Indoor Plants That Will Survive In the Darkest Rooms

1.Golden pothos

Golden Pothos(Scindapsus aures): clears formaldehyde and other VOCs.

2. Ficus alii

Ficus Alii (Ficus maeleilandii alii): Good general air purifier.

3. Spider Plant

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Clears benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

4. Lady Palm

Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa): Good general air purifier.

5. Snake plant

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii): Clears formaldehyde.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe: Clears formaldehyde and benzene.

7. Moth Orchid

Orchid (Phalaenopsis): Clears formaldehyde.

8. Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm

Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii): Clears formaldehyde and xylene.

9. Chinese evergreen


(Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’): Clears air pollutants and toxins.

10. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums(Chrysantheium morifolium): Clears benzene.

11. Gerber daisy

(Gerbera jamesonii): Clears trichloroethylene and benzene.

12. Red-edged dracaena

(Dracaena marginata): Clears xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

13. Weeping fig

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina): Clears formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene

14. English ivy

(Hedera helix): Clears airborne fecal-matter particles.

15. Azalea

(Rhododendron simsii): Clears formaldehyde.

16. Heart leaf philodendron

(Philodendron oxycardium): Clears formaldehyde and many other air pollutants.

17. Warneck dracaena

(Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’): Clears pollutants such as those associated with varnishes and oils.

18. Boston Fern

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis): Clears formaldehyde. | Image credit: melissa b. via Flickr

19. Bamboo palm

(Chamaedorea sefritzii): Clears benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

20. Peace lily

(Spathiphyllum): Clears formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.

Related Stories:

24 Common Plants Poisonous to Pets
4 Unexpected Health Benefits of Basil
5 Surprising Benefits of Hemp
How I Finally Kicked Xanax to the Curb with CBD

Sources:
Science Daily
Mother Nature News
Sustainable Baby Steps

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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20 Houseplants That Clear Toxins From Your Home

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Unroll.me Is Latest Victim of Two Minutes Hate

Mother Jones

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Have you heard of Unroll.me? I hadn’t until they suddenly popped up in my Twitter feed because everyone was telling me to uninstall their app and never do business with them again. It turns out that Unroll.me is a company that scans your email and unsubscribes you from all your spam. Useful! And free! So how do they make money? By selling data to folks who will pay them for it.

In particular, it turns out that one of their clients is Uber, which was interested in keeping tabs on its biggest competitor, Lyft. Unroll.me helps by scanning email for Lyft receipts and telling Uber whether Lyft’s business is up or down. This is what caused the commotion.

My initial reaction was: Duh. What did you think Unroll.me was doing to make money? I didn’t bother writing anything about it because I didn’t really care that much, but today co-founder Perri Chase (who’s no longer with the company) comes to the defense of her friend and Unroll.me CEO Jojo Hedaya:

Anonymized and at scale why do people care? Do you really care? Are you really surprised? How exactly is this shocking?

Or maybe you just hate yourselves because you think Uber is gross but you use them anyway and “why are these tech founders such assholes” that they have to ruin your experience where you need to delete your apps? And you love Unroll.me and you feel righteous and you have to delete that now too because you need to take a stand against these plain-as-day-in-the-terms-of-service practices.

….Let’s look at why we are really in this situation. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is out of control and no one can stop him. No one except a board who refuses to hold him accountable for his disgusting behavior. Yeah. As a woman I think he is disgusting. As a founder, the truth is I’m like DAMN. That guy is willing to do whatever it takes and I have a mild amount of envy that I’m not a shittier human willing to go to those lengths to be successful. See, Silicon Valley rewards it. He is setting the example for the future founders who want to “crush it” and be unstoppable. It’s gross. You don’t hate that Unroll.me sells your data. You hate that Unroll.me sells your data to Uber.

I still don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I’m distinctly unthrilled with the fact that that we all give companies access to so much personal information about ourselves—and we do it for a pittance. On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that I’m in a tiny minority. Even when people know precisely what’s going on, they mostly shrug and sign up anyway. That’s the world we live in.

Chase’s “plain-as-day-in-the-terms-of-service” defense is pretty disingenuous since she knows perfectly well that nobody reads the terms of service for the apps they use. But even if they did I doubt that Unroll.me would lose more than a few percent of their customers. Most of them probably wouldn’t care if Unroll.me sold their names and email addresses to Uber, let alone a harmless bit of aggregate data.

For what it’s worth, what I’d like to see from companies like Unroll.me is a really clear explanation on their websites of what they do. Maybe just a short, punchy bullet list: Examples of what we will do and examples of what we won’t do. That’s what I’d like. And a pony.

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Unroll.me Is Latest Victim of Two Minutes Hate

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New York Times Updates Its 2015 Hillary Clinton FBI Investigation Story

Mother Jones

In July 2015 the New York Times reported that the Justice Department had opened a “criminal inquiry” into whether “Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information.” This was apparently a mistake, and the article was quickly rewritten to say only that DOJ had opened an “investigation” into whether sensitive information had been mishandled “in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.” A few days later the Times’ public editor wrote a scathing summary of the paper’s scoop:

Aspects of it began to unravel soon after it first went online….From Thursday night to Sunday morning — when a final correction appeared in print — the inaccuracies and changes in the story were handled as they came along, with little explanation to readers, other than routine corrections….Eventually, a number of corrections were appended to the online story, before appearing in print in the usual way — in small notices on Page A2. But you can’t put stories like this back in the bottle — they ripple through the entire news system.

So it was, to put it mildly, a mess….“We got it wrong because our very good sources had it wrong,” editor Matt Purdy told me. “That’s an explanation, not an excuse. We have an obligation to get facts right and we work very hard to do that.”

A few days later I wrote about this too, suggesting that the Times owed us a better explanation of what happened. This weekend they went some of the way there in an aside buried in their big story about James Comey, co-authored by two of the same reporters who wrote the original piece. Here’s what they say:

On July 10, 2015, the F.B.I. opened a criminal investigation, code-named “Midyear,” into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified information….There was controversy almost immediately. Responding to questions from The Times, the Justice Department confirmed that it had received a criminal referral — the first step toward a criminal investigation — over Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified information.

But the next morning, the department revised its statement. “The department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information,” the new statement read. “It is not a criminal referral.”

At the F.B.I., this was a distinction without a difference: Despite what officials said in public, agents had been alerted to mishandled classified information and in response, records show, had opened a full criminal investigation.

If this is correct, it was a criminal investigation, and the Times didn’t get it wrong. Rather, the Justice Department put up a smoke screen after news of the investigation had been leaked.

The second part of this remains fuzzy. Was the investigation specifically aimed at Hillary Clinton or was it only “in connection with” Hillary Clinton? It’s pretty obvious that Clinton was, in fact, the primary target of the investigation, but the FBI also investigated many others in her orbit. So I’m not sure how to score this.

Overall, though, despite what I wrote and what the Times itself wrote, it appears that this wasn’t an enormous screwup at all. There might have been a minor detail or two that was slightly wrong, but nothing central to the story itself.

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New York Times Updates Its 2015 Hillary Clinton FBI Investigation Story

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Let’s Talk About Bubbles and James Comey

Mother Jones

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I have frequently made the case that Donald Trump is president because of FBI director James Comey. On October 28, Comey wrote a letter to Congress telling them that the FBI was investigating a new cache of Clinton emails that it found on the laptop of Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. That was the turning point. Clinton’s electoral fortunes went downhill from there and never recovered.

As shocking as this may sound, not everyone agrees with me. A new book, Shattered, makes the case that Clinton was an epically bad candidate and her campaign was epically badly run. That’s why she lost. Yesterday, Shadi Hamid took aim at me for my continued Comey obsession in the face of the story told in Shattered:

Let’s talk. There’s a reason I blame Comey, and it’s not because I live in a bubble. It’s because a massive amount of evidence points that way. Today I want to put the whole case in one l-o-o-o-o-ng post so everyone understands why I think Comey was the deciding factor in the election. If you still disagree, that’s fine, but this is the evidence you need to argue with.

NOTE: I want to make clear that I’m talking solely about Hillary Clinton and the presidency here. Democrats have been badly pummeled at the state level over the past six years, and that obviously has nothing to do with Comey. It’s something that Democrats need to do some soul searching about.

Ready? Let’s start with some throat-clearing.

First: Keep in mind that Clinton was running for a third Democratic term during a period when (a) the economy was OK but not great and (b) Barack Obama’s popularity was OK but not great. Models based on fundamentals therefore rated the election as something of a tossup. Clinton was not running as a sure winner.

Second: For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Hillary Clinton was an epically bad, unpopular candidate who ran a terrible campaign. She foolishly used a private email server while she was Secretary of State. She gave millions of dollars in speeches after leaving the State Department. She was a boring speaker with a mushy agenda. She was a hawkish Wall Street shill who failed to appeal to millennials. She lost the support of the white working class. Her campaign was a cespool of ego, power-mongering, and bad strategy. Let’s just assume all that.

If this is true, it was true for the entire year. Maybe longer. And yet, despite this epic horribleness, Clinton had a solid, steady lead over Trump the entire time. The only exception was a brief dip in July when Comey held his first presser to call Clinton “extremely careless” in her handling of emails. Whatever else you can say about Hillary Clinton, everyone knew about her speeches and her emails and her centrism and everything else all along. And yet, the public still preferred her by a steady 3-7 percentage points over Trump for the entire year.

Third: Every campaign has problems. If you win, they get swept under the rug. If you lose, bitter staffers bend the ears of anyone who will listen about the campaign’s unprecedented dysfunction and poor strategy. This is all normal. Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns had all the usual problems, and in a close election you can blame any of them for a loss. But two things set the Comey letter apart. First, it had a big effect right at the end of the race. Second, it was decidedly not a normal thing. It came out of the blue for no good reason from the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. There is nothing Clinton could have done about it.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the final two months of the campaign. All of the poll estimates look pretty similar, but I’m going to use Sam Wang’s EV estimator because it gives a pretty sharp day-to-day look at the race. Wang’s final estimate was wrong, of course, like pretty much everyone else’s, but don’t worry about that. What we’re interested in is the ups and downs. What Wang’s estimate tells us is that, with the brief exception of the July Comey presser, the race was amazingly stable. From January through August, he has Clinton at 330-340 electoral votes. Let’s pick up the story in September:

At the beginning of September, Clinton slumps after her “deplorables” comment and her stumble at the 9/11 memorial. After Trump’s shockingly bad performance at the first debate she starts to regain ground, and continues to gain ground when the Access Hollywood tape is released. By the end of October she’s back to where she started, with a big lead over Trump. THIS IS IMPORTANT: despite everything — weak fundamentals, the “deplorables” comment, her personal unpopularity, her mushy centrism, her allegedly terrible campaign — by the end of October she’s well ahead of Trump, just as she had been all year.

On October 25, HHS announces that Obamacare premiums will go up substantially in the following year. This doesn’t appear to have any effect. Then, on October 28, Comey releases his letter. Clinton’s support plummets immediately, and there’s no time for it to recover. On November 8, Trump is elected president.

But how much did Comey’s letter cost Clinton? Let’s review the voluminous evidence:

Nate Silver estimates the Comey letter cost Clinton about 3 points.
A panel survey from the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics suggests the Comey letter produced a net swing of 4 points toward Trump.
Sam Wang estimates the Comey letter cost Clinton 4 points, though she may have made back some of that in the final days.
Engagement Labs tracks “what people are talking about.” Immediately after the Comey letter, they registered a 17-point drop in favorable sentiment toward Clinton.
Google searches for “Hillary’s email” spiked 300 percent after Comey’s letter.
The tone of news coverage flipped enormously against Clinton after the Comey letter.
A trio of researchers who looked at the evidence concluded that Comey’s letter was decisive, probably costing Clinton 3-4 points in the popular vote.
Trump’s own analysts think the Comey letter was decisive.
The Clinton campaign agrees that the Comey letter was decisive, and adds that Comey’s second letter hurt her too.1

I’m not sure how much clearer the evidence could be. Basically, Hillary Clinton was doing fine until October 28. Then the Comey letter cost her 2-4 percent of the popular vote. Without Comey she would have won comfortably — possibly by a landslide — even though the fundamentals predicted a close race.

That’s it. That’s the evidence. If you disagree that Comey was decisive, you need to account for two things. First, if the problem was something intrinsic to Clinton or her campaign, why was she so far ahead of Trump for the entire race? Second, if Comey wasn’t at fault, what plausibly accounts for Clinton’s huge and sudden change in fortune starting precisely on October 28?

One way or another, it appears that all the things that were under Hillary Clinton’s control were handled fairly well. They produced a steady lead throughout the campaign. The Comey letter exists on an entirely different plane. It was an unprecedented breach of protocol from the FBI; it was completely out of Clinton’s control; and it had a tremendous impact. That’s why I blame James Comey for Donald Trump’s victory.

1The second letter was the one that cleared her. However, merely by keeping the subject in the news, it hurt Clinton.

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Let’s Talk About Bubbles and James Comey

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Tens of Thousands of People All Over the World Are Marching for Science

Mother Jones

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Amid the Trump administration’s plan to gut the Environmental Protection Agency, cut billions in scientific research, and eliminate science advisers’ role in the government, thousands of people around the world participated in marches for science Saturday to defend the role of science and evidence-based policies.

The marches, which coincided with the annual Earth Day celebration, have sparked debate within the scientific community over whether scientists should be actively engaged in political actions. Organizers for the marches say the event is nonpartisan—there is no mention of Trump on its website—but assert silence is no longer an option amid the threats posed by Trump and many of his advisers.

Mother Jones has three reporters on the scene, Pema Levy in DC, Jaelynn Grisso in New York, and Karen Hao in Los Angeles. For up-to-the-minute news on the marches, be sure to follow them, along with our rolling collection of updates below:

4:45 pm ET A few more scenes from the march in Los Angeles before we sign off:

4:35 pm ET We’ll leave you with some final thoughts from—who else?—Bill Nye the Science Guy:

4:32 pm ET Humans weren’t the only animals marching for science today, as the dogged reporters at Buzzfeed revealed:

4:05 pm ET Here’s what scientists and their supporters had to say about the March of Science in New York, via Mother Jones digital fellow Jaelynn Grisso:

3:07 pm ET Trump weighs in on Earth Day for the second time today:

2:30 pm ET Mother Jones fellow Karen Hao is on the ground in Los Angeles:

2:03 pm ET The crowds in Chicago, where more than 40,000 demonstrators are expected:

1:30 pm ET Trump releases the following statement honoring Earth Day. While there was no direct mention of March for Science, the statement claimed “rigorous science” is essential to the president’s agenda.

1:21 pm ET The scene from San Francisco, via Mother Jones publisher Steve Katz:

1:05 pm ET While climate is the overwhelming topic of the day, many participants are also hoping to highlight other scientific issues at stake in the Trump era, including federal funding for medical research and the Flint water crisis:

12:48 pm ET Mother Jones reporter Pema Levy talks to scientists at the DC march:

Mike Khan is a microbiologist at Washington State University. He said scientists are looking at issues like global warming and realizing they need to speak out publicly about the problem. “Science says we are going in some awfully bad places, and a lot of politicians are not willing to accept that,” he said. “I’m out here in the rain because I think that’s a problem.”

Dr. Laura Anderko studies the effects of mold, pesticides, lead, climate change, and other environmental hazards on children’s health, but says her funding is threatened. “Everything that we’ve done to save humanity goes back to science: clean water, clean air, all of that,” she said.

12:08 pm ET Despite the rain, many are still lining up in DC. The official march doesn’t kick off for another two hours:

12:00 pm ET More scenes from DC:

11:37 am ET Scenes from New York:

11:12 am ET While we wait for the march in New York to get started, here’s some suggested reading to supplement your March for Science activities:

10:47 am ET More scenes from DC, via Mother Jones senior news editor Jeremy Schulman:

10:20 am ET Marches from outside the US:

9:37 am ET Crowds are beginning to gather in DC and other cities on the East Coast:

9:25 am ET Happy Earth Day! Here are some greetings from underwater to kick off today’s events:

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Tens of Thousands of People All Over the World Are Marching for Science

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