Purifying your breathing space.
"Using appropriate plant structures and knowing their functions is an effective way to reduce the health risks of modern living " Dr. Ranil Senanayake, creator of www.analogueforestry.org
Modern city living, with its multitude of facilities has made for comfortable lifestyles, but it has also brought with it many hidden and often dangerous toxins into our daily lives. Living in the closed confines of air conditioned homes or closed apartments means a concentration and continuous circulation of airborne toxins that affects our health and well-being.
Consider that even the sterile environments within space capsules were found to be contaminated by over 100 chemicals that leaked from ordinary structural materials. Further research has demonstrated that many of the same chemicals are found in most households. The culprits’ range from foam insulation, paper goods, paints, varnishes, carpeting and moulded rubber to household cleaners, cooking gas and tobacco smoke. These goods leak noxious chemicals such as Formaldehyde, Benzene and Trichloroethylene all of which impact human health negatively. People affected by these chemicals complain of constant headaches, drowsiness, difficulty in breathing, skin rashes, asthma, irritated eyes, sore throats and allergy related conditions. If ingested over a long time these chemicals have been associated with cancers of various forms.
Certain identified plants in sealed chambers with known pollutants in high concentrations and to everyone’s surprise many plants reduced the toxins very efficiently. The pollutants were ‘sequestered’ or tied up in the plant tissue and then acted upon by the various bacteria associated with its leaves and roots to break the toxins into harmless compounds. Subsequent research has shown that one or two plants per 8-10 square meters is sufficient in normal situations. However, when choosing plants to clean and maintain a healthy, safe breathing environment, it should be noted that one species of plant alone cannot handle the diversity of toxins found in the household environment. Therefore a wide variety of plants, each suited to removing a different class of chemicals should be used.
Let us consider the three most prevalent indoor pollutants as examples: Formaldehyde, Benzene and Trichloroethylene. Formaldehyde is produced by Plywood, Carpeting, clothes, paper goods, foam insulation and household cleaners. It produces headaches, eye and upper respiratory tract irritation, asthma and can lead to throat cancer.
Formaldehyde is controlled by species of Philodendron, Aloe, Scindaspus and Sansvieria.\
Benzene is produced by Tobacco smoke, plastics, synthetic fibres, detergents, petrol, inks, oils and moulded rubber products. It produces Skin irritations, Eye irritation, and loss of appetite, headaches, drowsiness, leukaemia and other blood diseases.
Benzene is controlled by species of Gebera, Spathyphyllum, Dracaena and Chrysanthemum.
Trichloroethylene is produced by Inks, varnishes, paints, dry cleaning, products, lacquers and adhesives. This chemical has been found to increases the risk of cancer of the liver.
Trichloroethylene is controlled by species of Chrysanthemum, Sapahyphyllum, and Bromeliads.
The increase of air-conditioning, which circulates toxic air without removing these chemicals, only adds to the risk. Thus indoor plans provides us with a widely and easily available weapon against some of the serious health risks associated with modern living. Architecture in the future should consider an element of living houseplants, not only outside, but inside the living space as an essential feature to maintain a healthy, breathable air. Thus the inclusion of living plants into the household and office environment would seem to be an essential need for indoor living, just as much as it is thought about in modern renderings for Urban development.
For more information research on the following species or contact Belipola Arboretum ( +94767191428 / email@example.com ) for established plants or clusters designed as arrangements .
Price ranges : SLR 250 -1000 ( + delivery) Aloes Bromiliads Chrysanthemum Dracaena Gebera Philodendron Sansvieria. Scindapsus Spathyphyllum