Archive for December, 2011
Commercial Building Vapor Intrusion in Birmingham Alabama
Commercial buildings located in Birmingham, Alabama are at risk of having polluted indoor air due to vapor intrusion. While some of these toxic gases carry an odor to them, others do not. This makes it difficult to know that your company’s indoor air has been contaminated. The best way to discover whether or not your Birmingham, Alabama business has vapor intrusion is to have it tested by professionals.
What is vapor intrusion and how does it get into your building? Vapor intrusion occurs when toxic gases in the ground or ground water near your building follow cracks and crevices in the ground until they reach an entry point in your building. These gases can enter through cracks in the foundation or openings near the utility access points. In most cases, these vapors continue to build up in your commercial building as more and more gases enter it.
Since many of the gases entering your building are toxic for humans, it is important to eliminate these gases, while preventing vapor intrusion from continuing. Many of these contaminants pose serious health risks, especially if they are found in large amounts. It is suspected that even low levels of such toxic gases pose a threat with repeated exposure, such as arriving to work each day for several hours.
What Contaminants Are Found in Vapor Intrusion in Birmingham, Alabama
Several different types of contaminants are commonly found when vapor intrusion occurs. Quite often, the nature of the commercial operations in the area have an effect on this, particularly since some of the pollutants are cleaning solvents used to clean metal parts or for the dry cleaning process. Other contaminants that may emerge through vapor intrusion include natural gases and methane. So, you can see that your commercial building’s location can have a lot to do with the exact nature of your vapor intrusion. The full list of the most commonly discovered contaminants when vapor intrusion occurs in Birmingham, Alabama are: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), trichloroethylene (TCE), radon gas, tetrachloroethylene (dry cleaning fluid), perchloroethylene (PCE or PERC), methane, natural gas, and a variety of additional solvents and gases.
A reputable radon mitigation and vapor intrusion specialist will assess your commercial building for the existing levels of pollutants found on your premises. Next, they will discuss your options with you. Even if your commercial building only has low levels of vapor intrusion, you may still want to consider the efficacy of incorporating mitigation strategies to eliminate these levels. One of the most commonly used methods of dealing with vapor intrusion (as well as radon contamination) is the mitigation strategy of active soil depressurization. This method uses specialized equipment to balance the pressure between your building and the ground in order to dispel the vacuum that enables these toxic gases to gain such ready access to your place of business.
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