We’re thankful that there are always plants to clean the air that we breathe.
When we think about air pollution these days in Sydney, we usually picture smoke and fumes from bush fires, vehicles and industry, rather than the air inside. However, depending on where you live and work, the air you breathe in your home or office could be dirtier than the air outside and putting you at risk of a number of health problems.
Indoor air pollution is a growing concern in Australian homes and workplaces. Studies have shown that levels of toxins from harmful chemicals including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene and other VOCs are higher indoors than outdoors.
This indoor air pollution is caused by cleaning products, perfumes, air fresheners, materials in the building such as paint and carpets, secondhand tobacco smoke, toxic chemicals, mould, dust, and other contaminants like bush fire smoke.
Have you ever got a headache from paint fumes or someone wearing overpowering perfume? These are obvious signs that indoor air pollution is affecting your health, albeit temporarily.
However, many of the health consequences of breathing in these toxins on a daily basis for months and years are not so immediately obvious. In fact you may not even notice that your home or workplace was affecting your health until you move house or get a different job and realise that your asthma improves or you stop getting headaches.
If you’re worried about indoor air pollution at home or in your office, there are a few different things you can do. Improving ventilation by opening windows is an obvious step, although this isn’t always possible with bush fires. You can also cut down on the chemical products you use and substitute eco-friendly natural cleaning materials.
Using indoor air cleaning plants is another simple way to improve indoor air quality. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air, which they combine with water and light to produce energy from growth. A famous study carried out by NASA demonstrated that they also filter out toxins from the air by absorbing them through their leaves.
The study identified 50 plants that clean the air, although most family of plants filter toxins to at least some degree. The best indoor plants for air purification tend to be those with lots of leaves, as it is the leaves that absorb gases from the air.
Several plants that clean the air include the Snake plant, aloe vera, peepul, and areca palm. These plants are known to give oxygen at night.
These plants are known to provide the most oxygen: aloe vera, areca palm, spider plant, bamboo plant, tulsi, snake plant and so much more.
If you’re looking for some new houseplants to improve the air quality of your home or office, these air purifying plants are perfect choices:
Most people spend significant amount of time indoors. Whether inside the home or office, having poor air quality is critical for good health. Chemicals and pollutants may cause allergies and headaches. It can also lead to long-term health complications. Clean air can help prevent chronic complications like asthma.
Lighting plants indoors can be tricky, but if you know which lights suit plants that clean the air best, you can achieve a good quality of air indoors.
Some of the lights you can use are good old fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent lights, LED lights, halides and incandescent lights.
An interesting study from NASA in 1989 concluded that house plants can remove toxic substances like formaldehyde and benzene that could cause cancer. NASA Scientist bill Wolverton stated that two big potted plants are needed for every 9.3 square metres of space indoors to purify the air. The study also concluded that air quality increased by 25% in a room with a one house plant while two plants improved the air quality indoors by 75%. On average, about 10 house plants are needed inside a regular home to keep the air clean. This is actually more cost-efficient than getting an air purifier that eats up electricity!
One good point to remember is that all plants need darkness too, so make sure to turn off your lights at the right time. Plants generally need 12-18 hours of light a day.
Need help with landscaping and maintaing your office or home garden? Speak with us for timely advice and a full range of plant installation and maintenance services.