Industry Trend - Vapor Intrusion Testing and Abatement
Environmental Focus on Vapor Intrusion
An increasingly common mechanism for human exposure to chemicals is by inhalation of chemicals that make their way into indoor air. A great deal of environmental focus today is on vapor intrusion (or VI), a term used to describe the migration of volatile chemicals from contaminated soils and groundwater into the indoor air spaces of overlying buildings. Primary VI pathways include seams and cracks in basement floors and utility penetrations through basement floors and foundation walls. And surprisingly, chemicals can even migrate through intact concrete. The regulatory community is becoming increasingly aware that vapor intrusion poses a health risk to residents and workers in many buildings.
Vapor Intrusion Testing and Mitigation
ES&M has been on the forefront of vapor intrusion testing and vapor mitigation for some time. We have designed many vapor mitigation systems; including some that use pre-existing structures in inventive ways. This saves our customers’ money, and spares those affected the cost and inconvenience of major construction and renovations. For example, we utilized existing drainage piping to convert a french drain system to a sub-slab depressurization system at a residential condominium complex. We have also optimized heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to increase positive pressure in an former industrial building now used for offices. These interventions reverse the pressure gradient minimizing the potential for migration of volatile chemicals from soil and groundwater into indoor air.