Vapor Intrusion and Indoor Air Quality

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Vapor Intrusion and Indoor Air Quality

Vapor intrusion (VI) is an exposure pathway resulting from the migration of volatile chemicals from the subsurface into overlying buildings. A VI source, migration route, and a human receptor must be present for the pathway to potentially be complete and pose a health risk.

Common VI contaminants Include:

  • Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds (PCE, TCE, Vinyl Chloride)
  • Benzene (Petroleum)
  • Methane (Landfills)

Sampling the vapor under a building is the best way to learn if chemical vapors may be entering a building at concentrations that could pose a health risk. This is called collecting a "sub-slab vapor sample." Sub-slab sampling involves drilling a small hole in a discrete location through the floor, installing a vapor pin (i.e., an air valve) and collecting an air sample from beneath your home. If the test results show there may be a problem, indoor air samples may also be collected.

For more information please refer to our blog on Vapor Intrusion.

Indoor Air Quality

BLDI provides testing for asbestos containing building materials, lead, mold and radon. Our team provides support for projects related to real estate acquisitions, property development and rehabilitation projects. BLDI helps clients meet their business and regulatory needs by identifying and testing suspect materials; providing compliance assistance with government regulations; coordinating with abatement contractors; and ensuring that projects are thoroughly documented and reported.

See our Work in Action:

Due Diligence Services for Hotel Development, Holland

Environmental Due Diligence Services for Hotel Development, Grand Rapids

Brownfield Redevelopment Project

Frequently Asked Questions

How could vapor intrusion affect my health?

Health risks are different for each person and each chemical. The amount of chemical exposure, the length of time exposed to a chemical, and the general health of the person all play a part in how vapor intrusion could affect someone’s health.

How do you control vapor intrusion?

If the sampling shows that vapor intrusion may be a problem, a common solution is to install a system of piping and fan(s) to pull vapors from under the building and vent them outside. Sometimes sealants and liners are installed on the inside of a foundation and floor to improve the performance of a vapor mitigation system. The exact type of vapor mitigation system installed in a building will vary depending on the design of the building and the chemicals found.