Vapor intrusion is a process where chemicals that are found in soil and groundwater migrate from the environment to indoor air. This can cause a variety of health risks, including the development of mold and other allergies. Luckily, vapor intrusion is something you can prevent with a little research.
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Vapor Intrusion is usually caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many homes are contaminated with a wide variety of these chemicals. While testing for VOCs indoors is impossible to pinpoint the exact source, it can help rule out a vapor intrusion problem. For this, you can collect soil gas and ground water samples. These samples can be taken at the contamination site, beneath the home, and inside the living area. If you notice strong chemical odors inside your home, contact your local fire department.
Vapors can enter a building through cracks, utility penetrations, and other openings. Once inside, the vapors can dissipate depending on the amount of fresh air exchanged by the HVAC equipment. However, heat from the inside draws vapors up through cracks and can aggravate the effects of vapor intrusion.
Vapor intrusion can be a serious health problem. Vapors can come from different sources, including underground storage tanks and spilled liquids. These vapors can contaminate the indoor air and cause health problems. They may also contaminate groundwater.