How Plants Improve Air Quality

How Plants Improve Air Quality
Photosynthesis! It's where our oxygen comes from, the process by which carbon dioxide and light are turned in to chemical energy by plants. Having this happen right near you while you grind through your day can have amazing benefits on the air quality you surround yourself most with. Being exposed to poor air quality can be quite harmful over the long term. 
According to an article published on Naturopathic.org, office air quality can be quite hazardous to your health over the long run. Some of the common toxins found in indoor office spaces can include Formaldehyde, molds, dander, Benzene, and many other harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Longterm exposure to these pollutants is commonly associated with respiratory issues, headaches, sick days, allergies, asthma and even cancer. It's something very few of us even consider when we step foot in to the office building, but something we need to be more wary of! Having a natural air filter present in your office environment can have a significant impact on the overall air quality around you.
Among many groups who have studied the air purification qualities of plants, NASA conducted an important study in the 80's showing that certain plants were highly effective at removing benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and toluene, all elements commonly associated with the construction of modern buildings and office supplies. 
The Indian government did a more recent study in 2008 on a 20 year old building that contained 1,200 plants for 300 workers. The results found that there was a reduction in eye irritation by 52%, respiratory conditions by 34%, headaches by 24%, lunch impairment by 12% and asthma by 9%. On top of that energy costs were reduced by 15% and productivity increased by 20%. It was also found that the building had the healthiest indoor air quality in all of New Delhi.
Reducing airborne toxins can have many short term impacts in addition to the benefits of reducing long term exposure consequences. Decreasing headaches, coughs, eye irritation and increasing blood oxygen levels can all contribute to a happier and more productive workforce as a whole. It's amazing how little effort you need to put in to set yourself up for a happier, healthier work environment and better yet, there's no major initial investment required!

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