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Clear the Air at Work and Improve Productivity with Plants

January 26, 2015 0 Comments
clear the air improve productivity with plants

As awareness about the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) has gained momentum over the last two decades, an increasing number of businesses and schools across the U.S. are taking extra steps to improve IAQ by removing toxins that the HVAC filter can miss. So, what’s the latest high tech tool being used to neutralize possible carcinogens – like formaldehyde? Plants! That’s right; it’s time to Clear the Air at Work: Improve Productivity with Plants!

Get in charge of the indoor air quality in your office or business by calling 877.282.2663 to schedule an air duct cleaning. Then, add plants that help maintain healthy IAQ, boost oxygen levels, and create a better atmosphere for your employees.

Your everyday nursery plants can do wonders for removing toxic vapors and mold particles, all the while helping make great first impressions on potential customers, and boosting employee morale. And the best part; making nursery plants part of your business has real, positive effects on your company overall.

Improvements in IAQ can directly translate into productivity increases. A study performed by the University of Vermont showed a 12% boost in productivity and a reduction in absenteeism of 14%. Other studies went even further, suggesting that productivity can be improved by as much as 20% with the right number of plants per employee.

Using Plants to Remove Common Indoor Pollutants

Many of the items inside your business can emit dangerous chemicals that can lead to respiratory problems and even cancer. These are not pollutants you can simply wipe off your equipment after purchase, but pollutants that escape into the indoor atmosphere as vapors, on a regular basis.

Clear the Air at Work and Improve Productivity with Plants

  • Chinese Evergreen: Also known as Aglaonema, this sturdy plant has been proven to reduce levels of benzene and formaldehyde. Benzene is often used in the manufacturing of plastics and furniture. Over time, benzene vapors escape into the indoor atmosphere, which can lead to low red blood count, bone marrow problems, can affect menstrual cycles in women, and weaken the immune system.
  • Ficus: This common office plant is excellent at removing formaldehyde vapors. Formaldehyde is commonly used in the manufacturing process of composite wood. The problem is that this chemical has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and poses a greater danger with continuous exposure.
  • Arrowhead Vine: In addition to neutralizing formaldehyde, this plant has been known to remove toxins like xylene and toluene. Xylene is commonly used in varnishes, paint thinners, manufacturing of plastics, and many other office-related items and equipment. As it escapes into the indoor atmosphere, the increased concentrations of this chemical can lead to respiratory irritation and dizziness.
  • Snake Plant: In addition to removing common toxins like benzene and formaldehyde, this office plant will also neutralize toluene. Although it is more commonly known as an additive to gasoline, toluene is also used in the manufacturing of ink, some plastics, and common cleaning solutions. Because of regular printing in the office and regular cleaning by janitorial staff, new toluene particles can be introduced to the indoor air on a regular basis. This can pose a significant health danger at high concentrations, leading to problems like headaches, fatigue, and even depression in some individuals.

Beyond the Toxins

In addition to neutralizing indoor air pollution, some common plants have the added benefit of boosting mood, alertness and even removing mold from the air.

  • English Ivy: This little plant works great in the office, because it’s a real multitasker. In addition to removing common toxins released by furniture and plastics, English Ivy can also neutralize mold spores. This ability is a big deal in an office setting, since every employee has the potential to bring spores to the office; which often travel by latching onto shoes or clothing, until they can grow inside walls and air ducts.
  • Lemon Balm: This common office plant goes even further, and has been shown to increase norepinephrine levels in the brain; which can improve mood and overall productivity.

More Info? Check out Health Risks of Mold in your Building for additional information on how indoor air quality impacts performance and productivity!

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