Are Chemical Vapors In Your Home Making You Sick?
Your home may be subjected to harmful fumes from contaminated groundwater and/ or soil. Groundwater pollution is more common than one might suspect. Of all the industrial waste in the world, about 70% ends up in bodies of water that will pollute the nearby usable water supply. Filtering the water that comes into your home is not enough, as the fumes from contaminated water can also cause problems. The soil your home is built on can also contribute to vapor intrusion.
You might be wondering how the soil and groundwater could be contaminated. It is estimated that more than 80% of the serious hazardous waste sites are responsible for negatively impacting the quality of nearby bodies of water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), it happens when vapor-causing chemicals are shifted from the subsurface layer to seep into buildings and homes. Some chemicals that may cause harmful vapors include:
- - Elemental Mecury
- Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs
- Polychlorinated biphenyls
Depending on the level of concentration, these chemicals may pose a health risk to inhabitants over time. Or, in high enough concentrations, there is the risk that they will form a chemical reaction with another common household chemical to cause severe health risks, or even an explosion.
Environmental remediation contracting services in your area will recommend a course of action depending on the level of contamination. The Preliminary Remediation Goals, PRG, as set forth by the EPA, list a comprehensive guide for clean up. One of two methods will be used: either in-situ or ex-situ.
In-situ methods attempt to treat the contamination at the source, and without removing any of the contaminated soil or water. Conversely, ex-situ methods do remove a good portion of the contaminated soil before treatment. The bad soil is taken to a landfill, while the water is treated at a special facility.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection sub slab depressurization system to help clear the air during the cleanup process. A sub slab depressurization system simply pulls the harmful vapors away from the home or building to be dispersed outside. This greatly reduces the inhabitants exposure to the harmful fumes.
A sub slab depressurization system is not a long term solution. It is still absolutely necessary to perform remediation on the contaminated soil and/ or groundwater. However, the process of clearing the air so to speak can be lengthy. Don’t be subjected to harmful vapors any longer once you become aware of them. A sub slab depressurization system can be installed at the lowest level of the home to give you and your family clean air.