Archive for December, 2011
Commercial Buildings and Vapor Intrusion
Commercial buildings located throughout the United States, and particularly in Beckley, West Virginia, are at significant risk of vapor intrusion. This is a serious condition that contaminates the quality of the building’s indoor air and places the employees who work at that location at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses, including respiratory conditions and cancer. The most efficient way to determine whether or not a building has indoor pollutants stemming from vapor intrusion is to have it professionally tested and assessed for known contaminants.
What exactly is vapor intrusion? Why is your building exposed to it? Vapor Intrusion (VI) involves the presence of toxic gases within a building’s indoor air. The vapors enter the building through cracks or crevices in the foundation, the lower portion of the walls, or the openings of entry points for utilities such as electricity and water supply. The vapors or gases come from either substances found naturally in the ground or from contaminants such as chemicals that seep into the ground from improperly stored substances commonly used during commercial operations. As these vapors enter the building, they commonly build up since they have no viable escape route.
Health Risks of Vapor Intrusion in Beckley, West Virginia
Vapor intrusion poses a serious health risk to anyone who is exposed to it on a regular basis. While high levels of vapor intrusion are generally considered more dangerous than lower levels, each type of occurrence places employees at risk. The presence of additional toxic vapors inside the building, such as those occurring from chemicals used during daily operations, increases the potential risk of developing a life-threatening illness. Since some of the gases do not emit an odor, vapor intrusion may go undetected unless the commercial building is properly tested for its presence.
What Contaminants Are Found in Vapor Intrusion in Beckley, West Virginia
A number of different contaminants are commonly found in the type of vapor intrusion that occurs in Beckley, Virginia. Among them are:
tetrachloroethylene (dry cleaning fluid)
volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
perchloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
a variety of other solvents and gases
Treatment for Vapor Intrusion in Beckley, Virginia
If your Beckley, West Virginia business tests positive for vapor intrusion, mitigation strategies are going to be necessary to eliminate the presence of the contaminants from the air. In general, a combination of vapor intrusion mitigation techniques will be incorporated into the building’s design. Your mitigation specialist will discuss these options with you. In general, some form of pressure equalization is necessary to eliminate the vacuum within the building that draws the toxic gases to it. The active soil depressurization method is commonly used for this aspect of vapor intrusion mitigation. If the chemicals are toxic, non-explosive fans will also be incorporated to dispel the gases. If only non-toxic chemicals are present, normal-grade fans will be used.
- Beckley, WV, 25801 USA
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