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Indoor Air Quality Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/18/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Apartment Tenants Relocated After MassDEP Detects High Concentrations of Trichloroethylene in the Air
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides laboratory testing services and sampling supplies to identify trichloroethylene and other chemical hazards associated with vapor intrusion.

Boston, MA, August 18th, 2021

Tenants of a luxury apartment complex in a town outside of Boston were recently delivered some unsettling news from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). According to media reports, the agency confirmed high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) in the air in some occupied apartments, resulting in some tenants having to be temporarily relocated to other units within the large complex that didn’t have indoor air quality (IAQ) issues.

TCE is a type of volatile organic compound (VOC) that breaks down slowly in soil and water and has been found in numerous contaminated underground water sources and surface waters across the country. The chemical is believed to be present in these apartments due to a process known as vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion occurs when there is a migration of vapor-forming chemicals from any subsurface source into an overlying building. These subsurface sources can include contaminated groundwater or soil.

Exposure to TCE can cause several health issues for building occupants exposed to it through inhalation. Acute and chronic inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene can affect the human central nervous system with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness. Liver, kidney, immunological, endocrine, and developmental effects have also been reported in humans.

The Department of Human Health Services (HHS) has classified TCE as “known to be a human carcinogen” based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from humans. Similarly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified it as “carcinogenic to humans” and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has characterized it as “carcinogenic in humans by all routes of exposure.”

“TCE has become an all-too-common indoor pollutant associated with vapor intrusion in states across the country where homes and buildings have been built above or near contaminated land or groundwater,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To help address these concerns, EMSL’s laboratories offer comprehensive indoor air quality, vapor intrusion, and environmental testing for TCE and many other chemical pollutants.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about trichloroethylene and exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/DetCE36YMHs.

To learn more about TCE or vapor intrusion testing, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675, or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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