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Vapor Intrusion Risks a Real Threat to Building Occupants

EMSL Analytical offers vapor intrusion and volatile organic compound (VOC) testing services to protect building occupants from exposure.


Cinnaminson, NJ

Vapor intrusion is the process by which chemicals migrate to the indoor air above a contaminated site.  Vapor intrusion generally occurs when there is movement of volatile chemicals from contaminated groundwater or soil into an overlying building.
In extreme cases, the vapors may accumulate in dwellings or occupied buildings to levels that may pose near-term safety hazards from explosions, acute health effects, or aesthetic problems due to strong odors.  When vapor intrusion occurs it can create an environment that both damages structural materials and puts building occupants’ health at risk. 
Human exposure to vapor intrusion can cause everything from minor irritations including headaches and nausea, to more significant problems such as cancer or chronic disease from prolonged exposure. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website reports that the potential health issues vary and are dependent upon the types and concentrations of the chemicals found.  The length of exposure to the chemicals and the overall health of those being exposed are also factors that may determine how vapor intrusion will impact building occupants. 
“In buildings with low concentrations of volatile chemicals, the main concern is whether the chemicals may pose an unacceptable risk of chronic health effects due to long-term exposure to these low levels,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, a leading vapor intrusion testing laboratory.  “Air testing can help determine if there is a vapor intrusion problem and it will also identify what chemicals and gases are present and at what levels.”
EMSL Analytical has sponsored an online educational video about the dangers associated with vapor intrusion.  It can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for vapor intrusion or other indoor air quality (IAQ) services please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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