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Long-Term Evaluation of the Controlled Pressure Method for Assessment of the Vapor Intrusion Pathway

Holton, Chase, Guo, Yuanming, Luo, Hong, Dahlen, Paul, Gorder, Kyle, Dettenmaier, Erik, Johnson, Paul C.
Environmental Science & Technology 2015 v.49 no.4 pp. 2091-2098
air, data collection, risk, temporal variation, vapors
Vapor intrusion (VI) investigations often require sampling of indoor air for evaluating occupant risks, but can be confounded by temporal variability and the presence of indoor sources. Controlled pressure methods (CPM) have been proposed as an alternative, but temporal variability of CPM results and whether they are indicative of impacts under natural conditions have not been rigorously investigated. This study is the first involving a long-term CPM test at a house having a multiyear high temporal resolution indoor air data set under natural conditions. Key observations include (a) CPM results exhibited low temporal variability, (b) false-negative results were not obtained, (c) the indoor air concentrations were similar to the maximum concentrations under natural conditions, and (d) results exceeded long-term average concentrations and emission rates under natural conditions by 1–2 orders of magnitude. Thus, the CPM results were a reliable indicator of VI occurrence and worst-case exposure regardless of day or time of year of the CPM test.