Huntington Beach, CA, April 8th, 2020
A California school district announced earlier this year that one of its high schools was temporarily closed as a precautionary measure for the health and safety of the district’s students and staff. The temporary closure announcement was made after the discovery of the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) in the groundwater under the campus. The closure gave the district time to sample the air for any of the chemicals that may have entered the high school through a process known as vapor intrusion.
Vapor intrusion describes the process by which chemical vapors from below, which could be in the soil, groundwater or both, seep into a building. Exposure to vapors from many industrial chemicals, including TCE, can cause short and/or long-term health concerns for building occupants. Back in 2016, TCE was added to the list of agents, substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 14th Report on Carcinogens (RoC).
TCE is a colorless, volatile liquid that is produced in large volumes for commercial use. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) reports that TCE is primarily used in two ways, to make hydrofluorocarbon chemicals, especially refrigerants, and as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, although this use is declining. Additionally, it is used for spot removal in dry cleaning operations and is found in some aerosol cleaning products that consumers may purchase for home and auto maintenance.
“At the time of the school closing, the district reported that state and county officials determined the chemical's site of origin was offsite, possibly a nearby business,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “This means numerous other buildings and homes in the urban area that are above the contaminated groundwater plume could also be posing an exposure risk to residents.”
The scientists at LA Testing provide soil, water and vapor intrusion testing services, and sampling supplies, for TCE and other industrial pollutants. The testing experts, with multiple laboratories in California, have even sponsored an educational video about TCE and exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/DetCE36YMHs.
To learn more about testing for TCE or other air, water, soil or vapor intrusion issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.