They say a man’s living quarters is never complete without a bit of greenery to balance things out. Little do most know that there’s also a health reason.
During the 1980s NASA embarked on an investigation to find efficient ways to detoxify the circulating air in space stations. What the researchers found was that Earthly plants could be used to filter toxins out of the air whilst converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
These findings were eventually publicised in a clean air study which listed the best indoor plants that can clean grubby air. According to the study, maximising the effects of these plants required that there be one plant for every nine-square-metres of indoor space.
To understand this a bit better, it’s important to identify what’s in common indoor air to begin with for your epic vertical garden.
Trichloroethylene: This is a chemical found in common printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives, and paint removers. Short term exposure to Trichloroethylene includes heightened emotions, dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting followed by drowsiness and potential coma.
Formaldehyde: Are commonly used in paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, plywood paneling, and synthetic fabrics. Short term exposure can cause nose, mouth and throat irritation. Extreme reactions can cause swelling to the larynx and lungs.
Benzene: Is known for its use in the manufacture of plastics, resins, lubricants, detergents, drugs, tobacco, glue, and furniture wax. Short-term exposure will lead to eye irritation, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, an increased heart rate, headaches and unconsciousness.
Xylene: Occurs in rubber, leather, tobacco smoke and car exhaust. Effects from short term exposure includes throat irritation, dizziness, headache, confusion, heart issues, liver and kidney damage and coma.
Ammonia: Is commonly found in cleaning products such as window cleaners, detergents, floor waxes and fertilisers. Short term exposure can cause eye irritation, coughing and a sore throat.