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Awareness on Indoor Air Quality

Sustainability Initiatives created awareness on Indoor Air Quality by presenting air purifying Indoor Plants to senior officers of the Pune Municipal Corporation on the occassion of World Environment Day. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day was Air Pollution.

Indoor Air Pollution is often ignored while everyone is busy debating how to tackle outdoor air pollution. But indoor environments, especially air-conditioned, sealed buildings can accumulate significant levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like Benzene, Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Trichloroethylene, Xylene etc. These compound are emitted by wood particle boards used in furniture, upholstery, tapestry, printers, photocopiers, computers, floor cleaning liquids etc. Accumulation of these chemicals can cause headache, nausea, eye irritation etc. and prolonged exposure can have serious effects on vital organs of the body.

A study by NASA highligted a number of indoor plants that absorb these VOCs and help keep indoor air free of these chemicals. This includes plants like Rhapis Palm, Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema sp.), Spider Plant (Chlorophytum sp.), Money Plant, Snake Plant (Sansevieria sp.), Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.), Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), Red-edged Dracaena, Cornstalk Dracaena, Flamingo Lily (Anthurium sp.) etc. NASA recommends that at least one large sized indoor plant should be placed for every 100 sq ft of indoor space. Several people across the world have started using indoor plants in their workplaces to keep indoor air pure.

To create awareness about importance of indoor air quality we decided to place indoor plants in the offices of Hon. Mayor, Hon.Commisioner, Hon. Additional Commisioner (Special), Hon. Additional Commisioner (General), Hon. Additional Commisioner (Estate) and Hon. City Engineer of the Pune Municipal Corporation. Trustees of Sustainability Initiatives Ar. Anagha Paranjape-Purohit and Ar. Poorva Keskar presented these plants and explained their significance. Mr. Mangesh Dighe, Environment Officer Pune Municipal Corporation and Mr. Amol Umbarje and Mr. Kedar Champhekar of Sustainability Initiatives were also present at this occassion.

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