EMSL Analytical, Inc.

Vapor Intrusion Problems Still an Issue 40 Years after Toxic Spill


Source: EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical offers vapor intrusion testing services to protect building occupants from toxic gases migrating into occupied structures.

Cinnaminson, NJ, April 11th, 2012 -- Earlier this month, WGRZ published a story about vapor intrusion problems in Leroy, New York.  The problem began in 1970 when 25 rail cars left their tracks and spilled cyanide crystals and trichloroethylene (TCE).  An estimated 30,000 to 35,000 gallons of TCE spilled onto the ground.

According to the report, the cyanide was cleaned up, but the TCE wasn’t.  It didn’t take long before residents began to notice vapors in their basement and coming from the water drawn from private wells in the area.

Today, there are concerns over just how large the plume of TCE is underground. Vapor intrusion, where chemicals underground migrate into buildings, is now a major concern in the area. A number of homes have been tested for vapor intrusion issues and some have had systems installed to help prevent the TCE from entering the occupied buildings.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene can affect the human central nervous system (CNS), with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness.  Liver, kidney, immunological, endocrine, and developmental effects have also been reported in humans.  A recent analysis of available epidemiological studies reports trichloroethylene exposure to be associated with several types of cancers in humans, especially kidney, liver, cervix, and lymphatic system.”

One company that has been on the forefront of helping to test for vapor intrusion issues is EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Unfortunately, vapor intrusion is all too common in many parts of the country that have had spills in the past or had industrial plants that released chemicals into the environment,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical.  “Testing the air for chemical contaminants is the ideal way to determine if toxic chemicals are present in a home or other structure 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, 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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