ACS Distance Education UK
In a study on indoor pollution conducted by NASA, it was proven that plants help to eliminate what is known as the 'sick building syndrome’.
Common sources of these pollutants are:
Vinyl and rubber
Wood made from pressed particles
Office machinery e.g. photocopiers
Gases created by cooking and also cleaning products
People affected by the ‘sick building syndrome’ complain of headaches, eye irritation, skin rashes, drowsiness and other allergy-type conditions.
The elimination of these harmful pollutants from the work or home environment helps to reduce sickness.
It is also suggested that plants improve staff morale - in turn improving productivity and job satisfaction.
The following is a short list of plants suggested to reduce, remove or at least improve air quality in buildings:
Aloe vera, Anthurium spp., Auraucaria heterophylla - Norfolk Island pine, Begonia semperflorens -wax begonia, Calathea makoyana - Peacock plant, Chamaedoris erumpens- bamboo palm, Chamaedoria elegans - parlour palm, Chyrsalidocarpus lutescens -areca palm, Chrysanthemum spp. Codiaeum spp. croton, Cyclamen spp. Dendrobium spp. Dracaena marginata, Dieffenbachia - dumb cane, Ficus benjamina - weeping fig, Ficus elastica - rubber plant, Maranta leuconeura - Prayer plants, Sanservieria trifasciata - Mother-in-law’s tongue, Spathphyllum - Spider plant.
Usually temperate climate plants which are used indoors are hardier (when grown in temperate climate houses). Some are best to alternate between an indoor and outdoor position such as Cyclamen spp., ferns, Asparagus spp. (asparagus fern). Never take the plant from one environment straight to an environment which is in extreme contrast though; the move could be too much of a shock (eg. it is better to move your ferns outside in summer and place them in a protected spot under a big tree: the change will then be minor). Avoid placing indoor plants in draughty positions or near to a gas heater or air conditioning vent. Temperatures should not drop below 5ºCelsius for the less hardy indoor plants (even overnight). Place the more exotic, tropical plants in a more humid room such as a bathroom. Low light intensity areas should be avoided for most indoor plants.
How safe are your building materials?