new study from the Botanical Institute at the University of Koln,
Germany shows that
Hydroculture plants (plants without soil) like the Ficus Benjamina and Pothos do
a remarkable job of removing interior air pollutants such as Formaldehyde,
Benzol, Phenol and Nicotine. These items are released into the interior
atmosphere from the building materials themselves and contribute to the
phenomenon known as "sick building syndrome".
Hydroculture plants absorb pollutants such as formaldehyde in large quantities
through their leaves. They don't just store these chemical pollutants, but
actually transform 90% of these substances into sugars, new plant material and
The ficus removes nicotine and breaks it down,
while the rapidly growing Potho stores the nicotine in its younger leaves. The
institute found up to 30 milligrams per gram of leaf dry weight. This
combination of ficus/Potho can effectively neutralize office pollutants.
You can substantially improve the plants
cleaning abilities by installing a special ventilator in the plants pot. The
ventilator draws air over the roots, thereby acting as a natural air
filter. These are available from Highlife Home Design.
Office with plants in them not only improve the
Psyche, which improves productivity; but they actually help improve peoples
physical capabilities. Bad air tires people out, causes headaches, lack of
ability to concentrate, and muscle tension.
Another advantage of hydroculture plants is
that unlike soil plants they do not contribute fungus spores to the ambient air.
This can be a big boon to someone with allergies.
Hydroculture plants also humidify the air - thereby reducing the build up
of static electricity. Computers are especially sensitive to static electricity
build-up and can end up with a complete blackout due to static discharge.
It is a shame that most companies have not yet
recognized the direct correlation with a hydorcultured office and productivity.
Other companies have installed plastic ("silk") plants to help the atmosphere.
Plastic plants actually contribute to the problem of "sick building syndrome" by
releasing formaldehyde and solvents into the ambient air.
Expert analysis from the
university and NASA shows that a 30 square meter room can be cleansed by 3 to 6
hydroculture plants acting as natural pollution filters (1-2 plants per 100
In conclusion, simply by adding a few
hydroculture plants to your interior environment may be the simplest way to
improve your health and feel good at your workplace or home.