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Vapor Intrusion

Vapor Intrusion graphic, which shows contaminated groundwater seeping into soil and contaminating a home.

This web site provides some key information on vapor intrusion for members of the public who may be interested in this topic, including teachers and students, homeowners, community leaders, and environmental professionals. On this website, you'll find basic information about vapor intrusion, technical and policy documents that may be used to support environmental investigations, and highlights of current and upcoming Agency activities related to vapor intrusion.

If you have concerns about vapor intrusion where you live or work, please contact your state health department.

EPA Plans to Issue Final Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidances

EPA has made substantial progress during the past year in preparing its final guidances for the vapor intrusion pathway. EPA has extensively engaged stakeholders and considered extensive and substantive public comments received in 2011 and 2012. Additionally EPA made available external review drafts of the guidance documents for public input. EPA is working to complete its work expeditiously and issue final subsurface vapor intrusion guidances so that it can be applied in forthcoming decisions. Comments received on the guidance documents can be viewed at Regulations.gov (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0033).

Register for email updates about the development of the final guidance.

EPA Technical Documents and Tools Prepared to Support Guidance Development

EPA has prepared several documents and tools, shown below, to support development of its Final Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidance. In addition, relevant research publications prepared by the EPA Office of Research and Development (see Related Links) will also be considered.

Some EPA Tools:

EPA Guidance Documents That May Be Helpful

In 2002, EPA released the OSWER Draft Guidance for Evaluating the Vapor Intrusion to Indoor Air Pathway from Groundwater and Soils (Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidance) - This document presents technical and policy recommendations of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response for evaluation subsurface vapor intrusion. Until EPA issues a final version of its vapor intrusion guidance, we recommend using the 2002 draft and other available sound scientific information to address vapor intrusion.

In August 2010, EPA released its Review of the 2002 Draft OSWER Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidance PDF (7 pp, 79K, About PDF).

The Brownfields and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center has developed a primer for land revitalization stakeholders concerned about vapor intrusion, including property owners, municipalities, and real estate developers; see Brownfields Technology Primer: Vapor Intrusion Considerations for  Redevelopment (PDF) (49 pp, 1.2MB,  About PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer.  This document provides an overview of vapor intrusion and how it can affect redevelopment. It also summarizes techniques for quickly and cost effectively assessing the potential for vapor intrusion, which can be implemented in consultation with qualified scientists and engineers.

Fact Sheet for Correcting the Henry's Law Constant for Temperature (PDF) (9 pp, 186K,  About PDF)

EPA HRS Rule-Making Effort

EPA is working toward a proposed rulemaking to add a new screening component to OSWER's Hazard Ranking System (HRS), which would allow sites impacted by vapor intrusion or intrusion of other subsurface contamination to be evaluated for placement on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Through this change, the HRS could directly consider the human exposure to contaminants that enter building structures from the subsurface environment.

Basic Information Events Related Links Contacts
Top Questions/Tasks
  1. What is Vapor Intrusion?

Rich Kapuscinski,
(703) 305-7411
Office of Solid Waste Emergency Response (OSWER)
USEPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Mail Code: 5204P
Washington, D.C. 20460

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