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While most of us believe that we are safer from pollution indoors than outdoors, know that there have been various studies on illnesses caused by poor indoor environments. Shockingly, it is said that indoor environments can be five to a hundred times more toxic than outside air. In fact, many illnesses have been related to poor conditions indoors such as cancer, asthma and allergies.

Studies have shown that there has been a 600% increase in asthma rates in the last 25 years due indoor environments. Moreover, it was also found out that indoor pollution accounts to 50% of office workers that develop allergies and other diseases. These numbers are alarming because people are estimated to spend 90% of their time indoors! What makes it worse is that buildings tend to seal the facility to save energy, therefore locking in contaminants inside.

What can we do?

This is where adding plants in the office come in. Science tells us that plants have the remarkable ability in cleansing and keeping the air fresh. Various studies have identified a number of plants that can do just this in indoor environments. These plants can eliminate indoor air pollutants such as particle pollution (i.e. dust, pollen, animal dander, and people dander) and gaseous pollutants (i.e. VOCs and adhesive sprays).

In an effort to reduce indoor pollutants, many establishments are now getting into the trend of creating “living walls.” It is said that with at least six plants, a 1,200-1,500 square feet of space can be filtered from contaminants.

Below are the plants you can put inside your office:

  • Asparagus Fern – This plant absorbs VOCs.
  • Peace Lilly – The Peace Lilly can filters deadly contaminants like formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and methyl alcohol.
  • Janet Craig – This plant lowers formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene levels.
  • Devil’s Ivy – This plant absorbs carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and benzene.
  • The Flamingo Flower – This particular plant can reduce ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene and toluene levels.
  • English Ivy – Like the Flamingo Flower, this plant lowers the levels of formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, octane, alpha-pinene and trichloroethylene.
  • Mother-in-law Tongue – This one absorbs alcohol, acetone and benzene.
  • Weeping Fig – This plant does wonders in lowering ammonia, formaldehyde, n-hexane and benzene levels.

Other plants that are said to lower indoor pollutants are Bamboo Palms, Ficus, Leopard Lilly, Chinese Evergreen, Gerbera Daisies and Philodendrons.

Why should you add plants in the office?

With a clean and healthy office environment, the spread of disease can be significantly lowered. As a result, there will be less sick days and employees will be much more productive. Plants are also great in absorbing noise and add a relaxing vibe to any place so you’ll be reducing stress levels just by adding plants in the office!

Aside from regular office cleaning, you might want to consider adding plants in the office to keep the indoor environment healthy.

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