Vapor intrusion can harm people's health and property values, a lawsuit claims.

Toxic vapors entering homes and buildings are not only damaging to human health, they can also hurt property values, according to one recently filed lawsuit.

Three law firms have filed a class action lawsuit in Madison County, alleging a 1986 Shell Oil Co. benzene spill and intrusion into residences have damaged the groundwater and reduced the value of people’s homes.

Property values have dropped, and residents cannot sell their homes, leaving them “trapped in their homes,” the suit claims.

Most previous lawsuits involving chemical or benzene spills have concentrated on seeking damages for serious health effects, including cancer.

This lawsuit claims that benzene and other poisonous hydrocarbons have contaminated the groundwater and the soil underneath the village of Roxana. This plume of toxins has destroyed the value of the real estate in Roxana and has placed in serious jeopardy the health of Roxana’s residents, it says.

The benzene in the groundwater exposes the Roxana residents to benzene vapor intrusion into their homes, attorney Chris Dysart said.

The complaint alleges that among the toxic chemicals released, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency documented the release of 8,400 gallons of pure benzene in 1986 from an underground pipeline that extended from the Wood River Refinery in Roxana to a barge-loading facility on the Mississippi River.

The complaint alleges that the defendants did nothing to clean up or otherwise address the toxic chemicals, including benzene, for more than 20 years.

Source: The Telegraph

Vapor intrusion? The right air filtration systems can help clean the air

Along with other measures to minimize the risks of vapor intrusion in single or two-family dwellings, environmental consultants often turn towards air cleaners with specialized blends of granular activated carbon to purify the air.

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