Vapor intrusion (VI) is a relatively new concept in the environmental industry first recognized in the 1980’s. It was discovered that contaminants in the soil and groundwater could be the cause behind poor indoor air quality through the movement of vapors coming up through the ground or slab.
Vapor Intrusion is defined as a process by which chemicals in the soil or groundwater migrate to indoor air above a contaminated site. These chemicals are often known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. Vapors typically enter a living space through pathways underground in a building’s foundation. These active vapors can pass through cracks in the wall, gaps from utility lines, or even through concrete which is naturally porous.
In extreme cases, the vapors may put humans at risk. If inhaled, those affected could encounter minor health concerns and even long-term effects. The issue of safety is always a concern, since in addition to inhalation of VOCs, these vapors can also become flammable. The degree of the vapors’ impact on human health involves factors that include its chemical concentration, ventilation, and the building’s occupancy.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has put in place measures to manage and eliminate vapor intrusion risks. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was implemented nationwide and provides a Federal “Superfund” to clean up abandoned sites with pollutants and contaminants. If not administered by a private party, the EPA takes control and mitigates vapor intrusion.
To regulate VI, the EPA has set standards for acceptable indoor air quality levels. Upon determining exposure and risk, there are a variety of mitigation methods to lessen the vapor effects and disturbances. At Land Science, we responded to a need in the industry with an effective and proven solution: an easily installable, effective barrier system to protect against chemicals like PCE, TCE, and Benzene. Our state-of-the-art products include Geo-Seal®, Retro-Coat™, and Vapor Vent™ technologies. Geo-Seal acts as a barrier designed to prevent vapor intrusion from entering newly constructed buildings. Retro-Coat is a highly effective epoxy coating that protects existing structures from the threat of contaminants and finishes to a high gloss coating that’s conveniently available in a variety of colors and textures. Lastly, Vapor Vent is a low-profile vent system that is cost-effective and adheres to passive or active vapor systems.
Vapor intrusion mitigation may be a newer advancement in environmental technology today, but the Land Science team is staffed with experts from the environmental industry trained and knowledgeable in understanding and providing the highest level of protection to help improve air quality in new and existing structures. As leaders in the field, we are proud to provide the most innovative, groundbreaking, and cost-effective vapor intrusion barrier systems to reduce risk and liability while protecting your clients and their properties from VI exposure. Search our website to find out more.