If our houses are stuffy, we open a window to let in the fresh air. For those of us who work in modern office environments, this is just not possible. The air circulation and its temperature are regulated and provided by the air conditioning system of that building.
But how good is the quality of the air we breathe all day long? It makes sense to ban smoking in enclosed spaces; we see it, smell it and know it is harmful to our health.
What about air pollutants that cannot be seen or smelt? Synthetic materials used in office furnishings and equipment release hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) into the air.
Chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene are released from fabrics, tiles, carpets and particle boards; the list of chemicals and their source is long! Carpets fade. So does paint, cleaning products photocopiers (release ozone into the air).
Indoor air pollution has given rise to the term "Sick Building Syndrome" where the buildings' occupants are made sick by the air they breathe - allergies, asthma, eye nose and throat irritations, fatigue and headaches.
Now for the good news. The plants used in interior plantscaping come from rainforest environments where the soil is low in nutrients. Vegetative matter decomposes rapidly in the tropics releasing chemicals into the surrounding rainforest air. Hungry plants eat these chemicals. They will do the same in an office given adequate light and care. The plant will grow and relish the conditions, even the polluting VOC's.
Indoor plants are no longer to be considered only pleasing visual distractions in our offices, but as an essential element to our health. 'Eco-friendly', living air purifiers are a must.