What Is Vapor Intrusion and How Can It Affect My Business

Often, chemicals like chemical degreasers, dry cleaning chemicals and petroleum products like gas which are used in commercial activities are leaked or spilled into the groundwater and soil. These types of chemicals are referred to as VOCs or volatile organic compounds, and frequently become vapors or gases, that enter into buildings from contaminated soil and groundwater. This is referred to as vapor intrusion.

Vapor intrusion has had some environmental problems, over the years, which can have a significant impact on your business. In fact, the ASTM or American Society for Testing and Materials recommends that vapor intrusion problems be taken into consideration with real property loans. This signifies that it is probable that vapors are coming from groundwater and contaminated soil which might be migrating under buildings and crawl spaces, basements and confined rooms or spaces.

How it is Measured?

Soil gas samples are collected from the unsaturated zone and put in stainless steel canisters to measure vapor intrusion or they are taken from crawl spaces,, basements, and other confined spaces. Vapors are then tested for concentration levels and if needed are run through a model to decide if there is potential exposure to residences and workers determined by factors like how long people were exposed on a day to day and yearly basis. If there is indication of potential health threats, abatement of the vapor will be required.

Testing for Vapor Intrusion

If your business has not been tested for vapor intrusion yet, it should be done without delay. If there are no signs of a vapor intrusion issue, you can have peace of mind, knowing there is no need for concern for your workers.

If the test results come back positive and you do have an issue with vapor intrusion, you will need to get going immediately to eliminate the contamination before yours and your workers health as well as your business are put at risk. The health issues that are a result of vapor intrusion, are growing in nature, and this means the risks involved increase the more you are exposed.

Environmental Data Services

Environmental data services work to help find out if your business is indeed at risk of vapor intrusion. These services work by scanning many databases and records of potential groundwater and land contamination that are within a mile radius of your address. You will get informed whether or not there is any contamination surrounding your property.

The concerns of vapor intrusion are a big deal. It is getting more common to hear of lawsuits regarding adverse health effects from vapor intrusion. Requirements are beginning to be enforced through the government for developing new buildings, treating existing ones that are situated on contaminated sites.

About the Author:

Tess Young has been a freelance writer for over 3 years and has experience writing about environmental risks and vapor intrusion. To learn more about Environmental Data Services,she recommends visiting EDR.