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Calgary Plants Clean Interior Air



Where Do Toxins Come From?

Newly built or recently renovated buildings are especially toxic, as paint, carpets, and furniture all exude large amounts of chemicals. So do copiers and cleaning supplies. Very high levels of these fumes can be detected for up to a year in a new building.

Tightly sealed buildings, made to be efficient at heating and cooling, can re-circulate toxic fumes. As these levels increase, the tenants experience respiratory complaints - sore throats, coughing, difficulty breathing. Headaches and more frequent colds are also reported.

What Pollutants?

Leafy plant close-up at the Beverly Nursing Home

NASA researcher Dr. Wolverton has tested the following major indoor pollutants:

  • Trichloroethylene
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde

Most indoor plants clean the air of at least one type of toxin, although most are not able to remove high levels of all three.

How Do They Do It?

Dr. Wolverton conducted tests on plants in sealed chambers with a variety of common indoor pollutants. He found that in a period of hours, all the tested indoor plants dramatically reduced the levels of at least one toxin.

Further research showed that the root zone is the area where toxins are absorbed, and turned into nutrients used by the plants. Increasing the soil volume increases the plant's rate of absorption. Plants even get more efficient at cleaning the air, rather than being harmed by the fumes.

Employee Benefits

Your employees have a right to breathe pollutant-free air. Restricting smoking may be a first step, but adding plants to your office environment will ensure that they are not subjected to more prevalent toxins.

plants keep the air fresh around the indoor track at a downtown fitness centre Plants also have an aesthetic quality that adds to the comfort of people in a space, by bringing the peacefulness of nature indoors. Improve the morale of your workers by providing a relaxed work environment. 

Recommendations

Dr. Wolverton's NASA research suggests:

  • Have at least one plant per 100 square feet
  • Combine plants to combat a range of chemicals (each species is able to clean different toxins)
  • Select leafier plants (the more surface a plant has the more air it can clean)
Please visit http://www.plants4cleanair.org

This information was provided by Joanne Young of Greenery Office Interiors in Calgary. She can be reached at (403) 240-1115.

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