Today, our houses and offices are very well insulated in order to save on energy. Combined with central heating, this means that humidity indoors is often very low and very little air is exchanged from the outdoors. The result is an accumulation of various toxic substances. The same thing happens when you crowd several people into a small room: exhaled air and perspiration quickly create a stuffy atmosphere.
For a programme on Dutch TV, Bert van Duijn of Leiden University and I were given the opportunity to talk about our company’s Clusia ‘Princess’®, a fantastic air-purifying plant that can remove toxic substances from the air in a 30-m2 room. This broadcast provided viewers with more information about how a clusia plant removes formaldehyde, which is a toxic substance, from the air to give you a better living environment. We are exposed to countless air pollutants every day. Toxic substances such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia can accumulate in our home environments. These are chemicals that are emitted by building materials, furniture, paint and other coatings, fungi, bacteria, smoke, cleaning products, etc.
A NASA study showed that certain houseplants not only did their familiar job of transforming carbon dioxide into oxygen but also removed these toxic substances from the air. Plants also increase humidity levels to create a more comfortable (less dry) climate.
TNO research here in the Netherlands has demonstrated that plants have a beneficial effect on absences from work due to illness. Symptoms disappear and concentration increases. Fatigue is reduced; skin, eye, nose and throat irritations disappear; and people are absent from work less often.
Plants make a living environment more inviting: they lift our spirits and help us relax.
Plants: not just a trend but a lifestyle!