Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature.
Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air, a trait known as volatility.
For example, formaldehyde, which evaporates from paint and releases from materials like resin, has a boiling point of only –19 °C (–2 °F).
VOCs are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous.
They include both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds.
Most scents or odors are of VOCs. VOCs play an important role in communication between plants, and messages from plants to animals. Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment.
Anthropogenic VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where concentrations are the highest. Harmful VOCs typically are not acutely toxic, but have compounding long-term health effects.
When you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
This pattern of gas makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.
At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide.
A few plants such as orchids, succulents, and epiphytic bromeliads do just the opposite by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.
As part of the photosynthetic and respiratory processes, plants release moisture vapor, which increases the humidity of the air around them. Plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in.
Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratorily distresses at bay.
Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats, and dry coughs.
Plants remove up to 87 percent of volatile organic compound toxins from the air (VOCs) every 24 hours.
According to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke, and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents, and paint).
Benzene is commonly found in high concentrations in books and printed papers.
Modern climate-controlled, air-tight buildings trap VOCs inside. The NASA research discovered that plants purify that trapped air by pulling contaminants into the soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant.
Adding plants to hospital rooms speeds recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University.
Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.
The Dutch Product Board for Horticulture commissioned a workplace study that discovered that adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats, and flu-like symptoms.
Houseplants are good for your health
And not just for their visual beauty.
Why? They essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. This not only freshens up the air but also eliminates harmful toxins.
Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxin in 24 hours.
Studies have also proven that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity by up to 15 percent. This will reduce stress levels and boost your mood. Making plants perfect for not just your home but your workspace, too.
At work, place plants, especially those with broad leaves, on your desk; they will help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity.
In fact, seeing greenery and nature helps us feel more relaxed and calm, which in turn benefits everyday mood. Indoor plants serve a practical and aesthetic purpose and will enhance your living and lifestyle.
An indoor garden can be your refuge from the outside world, and for many people, it is a source of great joy.
Whether you live in a small apartment, or a large house, by introducing certain plants into your home, you will start to notice improvements to your health and overall happiness.
As well as enhancing your mood and creating a living space that is soothing to be in, plants can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding.