There are many good reasons to invest in office plants. Not only can they brighten up the building and make it appear more inviting to visitors, but because they’re able to purify the air and reduce pollution, they can also have a great effect on the mood and health of your employees.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study that was published in 1989, there are a number of indoor plants that remove harmful toxins from the air, such as those found in everyday items that are likely to be in your office building! These include benzene in plastic resins and paints, ammonia in cleaning products, and formaldehyde in paper towels, carpets, plywood, tissues, and computer equipment.
Frequent exposure to these ‘everyday toxins’ can have a negative impact on your health as they cause a range of symptoms that can make you feel generally unwell. These range from headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, to a sore throat and irritation of the eyes.
Additionally, benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene (found in printing inks) can also
cause Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), where an individual experiences these unpleasant symptoms, and other adverse health effects, after spending an extended period of time in the same building, such as their place of work.
As well as removing these everyday toxins from the air, office plants also absorb carbon monoxide and CO2. These, in high levels, can be extremely harmful to both human health and the environment.
Here are some of the best office plants to purify the air and reduce pollution…
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The Snake Plant (also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) is one of the best plants for purifying the air and reducing pollution levels. In fact, NASA has identified it as one the top choices for this task due to its ability to remove at least 107 known pollutants from the air, including xylene, benzene, chloroform, and carbon monoxide.
Although it’s recommended that Snake Plants are kept in the bedroom because they convert CO2 into oxygen at night, they’re also a great plant for offices. Not only do they require little maintenance, but they remove formaldehyde from the air, which is emitted from computer equipment.
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
According to the NASA Clean Air study, Weeping Fig (or Ficus Tree, as it’s also known) is highly effective at removing a number of harmful everyday toxins from the air that can cause you to feel unwell. These include formaldehyde, xylene, trichloroethylene, and toluene.
Although they require a little more care than the Snake Plant, Weeping Figs are still great additions to offices due to their easy-going nature and attractive appearance! Keep yours looking lush (and able to purify the air to the best of its ability) by ensuring it’s displayed in a bright location away from any cold droughts in your office.
Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
The Red-edged Dracaena (or Pleomele) is one of the most effective plants for removing formaldehyde from the air. This makes it a great addition for office buildings with carpets, computer equipment, and any other everyday items that produce this toxin.
This plant isn’t just effective at removing formaldehyde, however; it also purifies the air of many other harmful everyday chemicals, including benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. However, this means that the Red-edged Dracaena is highly toxic to cats and dogs, so they’re best suited to pet-free workplaces!
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Ranked at number 9 in NASA’s list of the best air purifying plants, the Boston Fern is a great option for reducing pollution in offices! In fact, it’s often said to be the most effective at removing formaldehyde, though it also purifies the air of xylene and toluene.
Other studies that also shown that the Boston Fern is able to restore moisture in the air, which reduces unpleasant symptoms such as dry skin and eyes. The Boston Fern is also considered as one of the best plants for Feng Shui as they’re said to be very welcoming due to their air-purifying properties. So, take full advantage of this by placing them in your office’s entrances!