Carbon Conservation & Energy Efficiency


Bruce Rowse & Team

Posts Tagged ‘OH&S’

Indoor plants make buildings safer

Monday, September 7th, 2009

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in concentrations consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. These cause significant health risks. Now scientific research has confirmed that the solution is in many common, easy-care indoor plants.

VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.

Symptoms from VOCs include eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.  Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, shortness of breath, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, vomiting, nosebleed, fatigue and dizziness.

So you could say that these plants are self-regulating air purifiers which also produce oxygen and remove carbon from the air.

As well as adding to our safety, plants add greatly to our comfort. We feel good when we’re around healthy plants because they’re a key part of our natural environment,. To top it off, plants are beautiful, modular and incredibly good value.

So select from those listed below, and google how to care for them, it’s simple. Just be aware that many indoor plants are chosen because they are understorey plants. This means in a forest they shelter under other taller plants, and so often do not cope well with any direct sunlight on them.

These Indoor Plants have been proven to Reduce Air Pollution

Common name Latin name

Parlour Palm Chamaedorea elegans

Dracaena Dracaena marginata and D. “Janet Craig’

Kentia palm Howea forsteriana),

Peace Lilly Spathiphyllum ‘Petite’, Spathiphyllum. ‘Sensation’),

Philodendron ‘Congo’ Philodendron ‘Congo’


Umbrella Tree Schefflera ‘Amate’

Snake Plant /Mother-in-law’s Tongue    Sansevieria trifasciata

Zanzibar Zamioculcas zamiifilia

Sources: Recent Research carried out by the National Interior Plantscape Association and Professor Margaret Burchett at the University of Technology Sydney.