comprehensive report on outdoor air quality globally has just been published by the World Health Organisation. The report claims there are 3 million deaths a year to air pollution.

This isn’t just indoors. We no longer build with natural materials and the added chemicals have lent to declining indoor air quality, too, especially from concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This group of chemicals includes formaldehyde and toluene, two chemicals that greatly contribute to “sick building syndrome”.

If you wanted to get a good whiff of VOC’s, go visit a nail salon. The smell hits you like a wall. Dizziness, asthma, allergies, depression and “fuzzy brain” are all symptoms of “sick building sybdrome” and can be completely debilitating.

living wall instal

Living walls are especially useful in high VOC areas like nail salons, where a good air cleaner is needed.

Many people who study this field, including Dr Vadoud Niri, a US chemist and long time promoter for eliminating VOCs, feel one solution is indoor plants. His research found your normal house plant to be very effective at eliminating VOCs from air.

An interesting note, it turns out the 1970s macramé basket stalwart, the spider plant, to be especially effective at removing VOC’s from rooms.

In the 1980s, as  James Wong wrote, Nasa looked at 19 plants and found that a variety of plants work best because each species removes different pollutants – Costa Farms’ guide,, has a detailed list of these plants and most of them are plants we regularly use in our green wall installations.

There are some things plants can’t remove, like tobacco smoke, and they won’t completely freshen your house. But a nice living wall will definitely help big time.

And the good thing is that as a living wall ages, it’s root and soil bacteria grows, and with that grows the wall’s ability to purify air.

As NY living wall installers we notice the difference in a room after installing a green wall. The air is definitely fresher. Our professional experience backs up what science has found.

So next time you visit your favorite nail salon tell them about us and how our green wall installation can help them and their clients create a healthier environment. They may give you a free mani for the tip.