Archive for December, 2011
Commercial Vapor Intrusion for Grand Rapids, Michigan
If you own a commercial building in Grand Rapids, Michigan, then you may be exposing your employees to harmful gases each and every day that they arrive at work. Vapor intrusion is common in many areas of the country, including Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since many of the gases that create vapor intrusion are colorless and some are odorless, it is difficult to know that it has occurred unless you have your building tested.
Vapor intrusion occurs when contamination found in the ground water or soil beneath your commercial building creeps up through cracks and crevices until it finds a way into the interior of your structure. A number of volatile chemicals can be present in this type of contamination. Typically, the toxic gases that make up the vapors enter the building through cracks or holes in its foundation or through entry points for the utilities.
As the level of vapor intrusion increases, so does the health risk to those individuals who are exposed to it. In many cases, the gases simply build up within the building because they cannot find a way to get out. If your building does not have an adequate ventilation system, the toxicity level increases. Atmospheric conditions have also been shown to influence the incidence of vapor intrusion.
What Contaminants Are Found in Vapor Intrusion in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Vapor intrusion can include one or more of any of the following contaminants:
volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
tetrachloroethylene (dry cleaning fluid)
perchloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
a variety of other solvents and gases
While some of the contaminants are found naturally beneath the earth’s surface, a number of them have been disposed of improperly, leading to the contamination. Unfortunately, as the gases buildup beneath the earth’s surface, they continue to search for a way to escape, often arriving inside a building that is actively in use.
A qualified radon mitigation and vapor intrusion specialist can assess the nature of your building’s vapor intrusion using specialized equipment. Typically, the best option to implement when dealing with vapor intrusion is the active soil depressurization method. This strategy is commonly used by radon mitigation specialists to eliminate the presence of radon gas as well as by vapor intrusion specialists to eliminate the presence of one or more of the common pollutants that occur with this situation. The active soil depressurization method creates a balance between the pressure within the building and the pressure found beneath it in the ground. This stabilization of pressure helps to eliminate the vacuum that draws the toxic gases into the building.
If your building tests positive for radon gas only, contact a vapor and radon mitigation specialist and arrange for the necessary strategy to eliminate this dangerous contaminant from your building.
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