Experts estimate that indoor air pollution (IAP) is behind 1.6 to 4.3 million deaths each year. The rates are higher in low-income countries, but IAP is still a huge concern in nations like the US. After all, most indoor air pollutants come from building materials widely used in the US.
Moreover, the US is home to thousands of sites with contaminated soil. When the toxic materials in them vaporize, they can enter buildings as pollutants.
A vapor intrusion mitigation system can help prevent such dangers. This guide discusses the basic facts you need to know about these systems, so be sure to read on.
What Does Vapor Intrusion Mean?
Vapor intrusion occurs when chemical vapors flow into buildings. These vapors, in turn, can come from contaminated soil or groundwater.
Chemical vapors often enter buildings through foundation cracks. They can also infiltrate buildings through damages in basement walls and floors. Concrete, which is porous by nature, can also allow these vapors to get inside buildings.
What Then Is a Vapor Intrusion Mitigation System?
A vapor intrusion mitigation system is a collection of preventive vapor intrusion measures. It often includes both passive and active mitigation methods.
Passive mitigation includes sealing openings that allow chemical vapors in. For example, it can involve filling in cracks in the floor and walls and cementing dirt floors.
Installing vapor barriers beneath or on the walls of a building is also a form of passive mitigation. These barriers consist of a thick, chemical-resistant vapor intrusion membrane. You can think of these barriers as shields that keep vapors out.
As for active mitigation, this involves using equipment to change the air pressure. The most common active technique is sub-slab-depressurization. It relies on two things: an electric blower or fan and a suction pit made into the slab.
The fan connects to the pit, which then results in the vapors venting outdoors.
In larger buildings, building over-pressurization may be more effective than depressurization. This entails increasing the pressure from the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. The huge increase in indoor pressure works as an effective exhaust for vapors.
Why Would You Want to Mitigate Vapors?
Eight heavy metals are widespread in the soil and at higher levels in contaminated land. These toxic metals, such as lead, chromium, and arsenic, can mix with vapors in the air. From there, they can enter your home or office building through the foundation.
Gasoline, oil, and pesticides can also contaminate the soil and groundwater. In addition, groundwater can also contain untreated waste. Untreated waste, in turn, harbors countless microorganisms that cause diseases, too.
In any case, once inside a building, chemical vapors are easier to inhale. This can then put you at risk of acute and long-term health risks.
Toxic vapors can affect the lungs, skin, kidneys, and blood vessels. They can also damage organs and the gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Worse, they can lead to cancers, such as leukemia.
All that should be enough reason for you to invest in a vapor mitigation system.
Keep Your Indoor Air Healthy and Safe
There you have it, all the key facts you need to know about a vapor intrusion mitigation system. As you can see, it’s a safety measure that can help cut your risks of inhaling polluted or toxic indoor vapors. So, as early as now, consider investing in such a system to help keep your indoor air safe to breathe. If you decide to get one or even become a reseller, you can check out this free estimate maker to create and send estimates for similar systems.
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