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Could an office plant replace your air filter?




Office plants are pleasant to look at, a great talking point and certainly brighten up the area. But did you know that they could drastically improve your health at work? According to Popular Science, researchers from the American Chemical Society have recently stated that certain varieties of indoor plants are particularly good at cleansing the air of airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as acetone, formaldehyde and benzene, each which can cause serious health issues. If inhaled, the results could led to allergies, dizziness and asthma. VOCS have also been linked to central nervous system damage and cancer. Commonly found in paint, cleaning supplies, printers, furniture and even dry cleaned clothes, it safe to say there's no escaping these harmful chemicals around the workplace.


During the study, five species of house plant were exposed to eight common VOCs in a sealed chamber over a period of several hours. Each of the five plants absorbed acetone, but amazingly, dracaena was able to absorb 94% of the chemical. Bromeliad tested highest for air purification, removing 80% of six out of eight of the VOCs. This impressive feat as not gone unnoticed, with many workplace's beginning to incorporate copious amounts of greenery into their working environments, saving them money in air filtration and acting as attractive decor also. Due to this new development from the world of science, employers may now be considering chucking out their expensive and and ugly electric air filters in place of a more natural, green variety.