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Vapor Intrusion Hazards and Resources to Protect Building Occupants

The environmental and building science experts at CTSI provide vapor intrusion and other indoor environmental quality testing, monitoring, and consulting services

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

In buildings with lower concentrations of chemicals due to vapor intrusion, a major concern is whether the chemicals may pose an unacceptable risk of health effects due to long-term exposure.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation describes vapor intrusion as the process by which volatile chemicals move from a subsurface source into the indoor air of an overlying or adjacent building. They share the fact that the subsurface source can either be contaminated groundwater or contaminated soil which releases vapors into the pore spaces in the soil. Vapors can also sometimes enter a structure by migrating from contaminated bath, shower and drinking water.

These vapor-forming chemicals can cause indoor air quality (IAQ) problems and pose a health concern for building occupants. Examples of vapor-forming chemicals listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) include:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as trichloroethylene and benzene
  • Select semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), such as naphthalene
  • Elemental mercury
  • Some polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides

EPA goes on to warn that in extreme cases, the vapors may accumulate in dwellings or occupied buildings to levels that may pose:

  • Near-term safety hazards (e.g., explosion)
  • Acute health effects

“In buildings with lower concentrations of chemicals due to vapor intrusion, a major concern is whether the chemicals may pose an unacceptable risk of health effects due to long-term exposure,” said Frank Selamie, President of CTSI. “A complicating factor in evaluating the potential chronic risk from vapor intrusion is the potential presence of some of the same chemicals from emission sources within the building, for example, off-gassing from solvents or cleaners.”

The good news is there are ways to detect and mitigate exposure risks caused by vapor intrusion and other airborne pollutants. The building science and IAQ professionals at CTSI offer vapor intrusion testing, monitoring, training, and consulting services to protect building occupants and workers. These services also help businesses and institutions comply with health and safety regulations.

CTSI recently sponsored an educational video about vapor intrusion and IAQ that can be seen at:

To learn more about CTSI and their indoor air quality, vapor intrusion, environmental, health, and safety services, please visit, email , or call (212) 971-7016.

About CTSI
Established in 1992, Consulting & Testing Services, Inc. (CTSI) was founded on one strong commitment: to provide efficient and expert services to clients based on professionalism, innovation, and cost-effective expert solutions. This commitment has been furthered with CTSI’s reputation in fostering client relationships in all sectors of the Environmental, Health, Safety, and Construction industries. CTSI prides itself in utilizing a high quality service based on its diverse team of staff and professionals’ concise recommendations and solutions to the most pressing dilemmas. The company operates offices in New York and Florida that service clients across the United States.

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 Vapor Intrusion
 Industrial Hygiene
 Indoor Air Quality
 Air Testing

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