EMSL Analytical, Inc.

How Close to Contamination does a Property need to be for Vapor Intrusion to be a Concern?


Courtesy of EMSL Analytical, Inc.

Cinnaminson, NJ, February 19, 2013

There are numerous sites across North America that have contaminated soil or groundwater due to manmade pollution.  Some of these sites have been a problem for decades and as communities have grown, more and more residential and commercial properties have been built above or near these areas.

A major issue for properties built near these contaminated locations has to do with vapor intrusion.  Vapor intrusion describes the process by which chemical vapors from contaminated soil or groundwater seep into a building. If chemicals have been spilled, leaked from a storage tank, or illegally dumped, they can soak into the soil and also dissolve into the groundwater. When this occurs the contaminated area may begin to spread in what is often described as a plume.

So just how close does a building need to be to a contaminated area for vapor intrusion to be a concern?  According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), “While vapor intrusion is often associated with homes or buildings having basements, all buildings near contaminated sites have the potential to be impacted by vapor intrusion. Any home or building that is located within 100 feet of contamination has the potential for vapor intrusion problems.”

One of North America’s leading vapor intrusion testing laboratories is EMSL Analytical, Inc. “EMSL has a network across the U.S. and Canada that can help with testing supplies and analysis for vapor intrusion issues,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “Sometimes these vapor intrusion issues are readily evident with noticeable odors, but many potentially harmful chemicals may not be detectable without advanced scientific testing and analysis.”

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 www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

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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