Vapor intrusion can become a concern in any home or building.

When it comes to human exposure to pollutants, regulators have traditionally been most concerned with contaminated soil and water – but polluted air caused by vapor intrusion is fast becoming a major cleanup issue, experts say.

According to the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council, polluted ground and water have been around for centuries, while vapor intrusion entered the public debate about two decades ago, making it the new kid on the block.

New guidelines, issued in 2010 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, describe how to investigate and prevent vapors from entering homes or buildings.

Health effects of vapor intrusion

Regulators are becoming concerned about the health effects that potential vapor intrusion issues can cause in building occupants. Many chemicals and solvents have been linked to cancer and other serious health effects.

The EPA is still working on its own guidelines.

Well-known vapor intrusion offenders include dry cleaners. When dry cleaning operations contaminated the ground underneath their business with perchloroethylene (perc), the dry cleaning fluid, the chemical could often be detected in adjacent homes or buildings, having entered through cracks or opening in the foundation or building envelope.

Other solvents and chemical substances can become vapor intrusion concerns, including 1,1 dichloroethene and trichloroethene which were used in industrial applications.

Consultants and industrial hygienist often recommend indoor air mitigation systems similar to those used for radon to reduce risks of exposure.

Source: Sheboygan Press

Air cleaners for the removal of chemicals, gases and fumes

Electrocorp works with environmental consultants to provide industrial air cleaning solutions for facilities and residential dwellings affected by vapor intrusion.

Contact an Electrocorp air quality representative today for more information on vapor intrusion and our advanced activated carbon filtration systems designed to safely remove chemicals, gases, fumes and odors.

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