Breathe! Ahhhhh. The elixir of life is AIR, sweet, delicious air that fills the lungs and feeds our body the most priceless molecule, oxygen. So breathe deeply and know this molecule is brought to you by the beautiful world of plants. It is but one of several health benefits sustained by plants, the giving of clean fresh air.
Just through respiration alone, human beings release over 100 volatile chemicals into the atmosphere. Plants too discharge chemicals such as hydrocarbons, aldehydes, alcohols, ketones and esters into the atmosphere. Yet it is plants and the microbial-rich soil they grow in that can remove the pollutants hanging out in the atmosphere produced by other plants, humans and industry.
Plants actually filter air around us. Walk through a majestic pine forest and enjoy the crispness that travels through the lungs while breathing in the purified air exhaled by our rooted friends. In return we give them carbon dioxide, a by-product of our metabolism and necessary for their survival. Humans and plants form a symbiotic relationship that is just as necessary indoors so we can think, work and even sleep better.
NASA’s well known study about plants has prompted many interior designers and architects to design their structures with plants strategically placed throughout. With buildings and homes becoming more tightly sealed for better energy efficiency, one way to improve indoor air quality is through aesthetically pleasing plants. Indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, carbon monoxide and trichloroethylene are reduced significantly by ordinary houseplants.
As we realize how health is so intrinsically related to the world around us, strategically placing plants within any interior environment where humans gather will be standard fare for a more productive, healthier, natural place to live and work.