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Perkasie TCE

Sub-Slab Sampling Begins!
EPA Looks for Vapors in Soil

Community Update, March 2004


Photo example of Geoprobe™ soil-vapor sampling equipment.


Photo example of GeoprobeT soil-vapor sampling.

Geoprobe diagram

Geoprobe diagram.

steel casing

Photo example of steel, flush-mounted protective casing.

Container diagram

Diagram example of soil-vapor drawn (arrows) through the inner tubing system and sealed in a container. The container is sent to a lab for analysis. (Click to enlarge photo.)

The Perkasie TCE assessment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will collect soil-vapor samples in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Due to past industrial activities in the area, EPA is testing for vapors from trichloroethylene (TCE), which was a commonly used solvent. The soil-vapor testing will help find out:

EPA will work together with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) during this investigation.


In November 2003, EPA contractors collected approximately 60 samples as part of a preliminary assessment in the Perkasie area. The assessment results showed that there is TCE-contaminated soil-vapor in the Perkasie area and further investigation is needed.

EPA will conduct a detailed study into the possibility of residential vapor intrusion, beginning mid-March.

What you may notice

Workers will be in residential areas taking soil-vapor samples. They will be using some heavy equipment and may be wearing protective work gear, such as hardhats, safety glasses and latex gloves.

Workers will be collecting sub-slab soil-vapor samples. This means that vapor samples will be collected from underneath the cement slabs of houses. Samples will be taken from an angle so the soil directly beneath a home can be reached at depth, without disturbing the house.

The Sampling Process

EPA may temporarily keep the sampling location available for future sampling, if needed.


Work for this sampling phase will last around two weeks, however data results will take longer. All results must go through a process of quality assurance and quality controls (QAQC), to help ensure accuracy, which can take up to 30 days. When the sample collection is finished, and the data results are completed, EPA will sit down with property owners to discuss their results before announcing the overall findings to the community.

What is TCE, and how can people be affected by it

TCE is:

TCE can enter the body by:

For More Information

If you have questions about this project, please contact

On-Scene Coordinator
Richard M. Fetzer

Community Involvement Coordinator
Trish Taylor

If you have health-related questions about TCE, please contact

ATSDR Regional Representative
Bucky Walters
Or visit the website: www.atsdr.cdc.govClick here to read the "Exit EPA Website" Disclaimer

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