Several common questions arise when investigating a site for potential vapor intrusion related challenges. Often it is difficult to discern whether vapor intrusion is occurring and if so, where it is entering the building. Additionally, it is important to be able to identify the composition of intruding vapors, because certain harmful vapors such as trichloroethylene (TCE) require immediate action to minimize health risks and associated liabilities. Once vapor intrusion is discovered and mitigation ensues, an added concern is whether or not the mitigation achieved key risk reduction objectives or actually increased potential exposures. In the past, each of these concerns has been difficult to address with traditional canister and sorbent sample monitoring methods because of their propensity for false positive and false negative conclusions and insufficient sampling resolution in dynamic settings. However, technological developments over the past decade have rendered continuous monitoring platforms viable and cost-effective solutions capable of addressing each of these concerns.

Vapor intrusion mitigation
At this site, Retro Coat™ Vapor Intrusion Coating was implemented to mitigate risk of vapor intrusion.

VaporSafeTM, an automated laboratory grade analytical and reporting solution developed by Groundswell Technologies and Hartman Environmental Geoscience, is a near real-time continuous vapor monitoring and response platform capable of tracking chemical concentrations from up to 30 locations as far as 300m from the instrument. This system is used to assess whether vapor intrusion is an issue, determine the vapor composition, distinguish between indoor sources and vapor intrusion, and to quickly identify vapor entry locations. VaporSafe is particularly useful for sites experiencing trichloroethylene (TCE) vapor intrusion concerns because these sites require rapid response to minimize health risks and associated liabilities. Unlike traditional monitoring methods, VaporSafe responds to acute TCE risks within minutes – well before an exposure duration of concern has transpired.

vapor intrusion monitoring
VaporSafe is particularly useful for sites experiencing trichloroethylene (TCE) vapor intrusion concerns

The VaporSafe data patterns enable rapid resolution and advancement to the next step in the site management process. As such, this technology can be integrated into projects during several phases: during initial screening and due diligence efforts; when monitoring to confirm no risk; to rapidly identify vapor entry points; to distinguish between indoor sources and vapor intrusion; to optimize mitigation systems; and to prevent current and future exposures through automated response. Because this technology produces key patterns and correlations within hours, it is also useful for efficiently resolving questions during escrow for property transactions and Brownfield redevelopment efforts. VaporSafe makes it possible to anticipate and correct problems before concentration levels become acute – saving time, money and energy. For more information, go to

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