Temporal and spatial variability of indoor air volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations can complicate vapor intrusion (VI) assessment and decision-making. Indicators and tracers (I&T) of VI, such as differential temperature, differential pressure, and indoor radon concentration, are low-cost lines of evidence to support sampling scheduling and interpretation of indoor air VOC sampling results. This study compares peak indoor air chlorinated VOC concentrations and I&T conditions before and during those peak events at five VI sites. The sites differ geographically and in their VI conceptual site models (CSM). Relative to site-specific baseline values, the results show that cold or falling outdoor temperatures, rising cross slab differential pressures, and increasing indoor radon concentrations can predict peak VOC concentrations. However, cold outdoor air temperature was not useful at one site where elevated shallow soil temperature was a better predictor. Correlations of peak VOC concentrations to elevated or rising barometric pressure and low wind speed were also observed with some exceptions. This study shows how the independent variables that control or predict peak indoor air VOC concentrations are specific to building types, climates, and VI CSMs. More I&T measurements at VI sites are needed to identify scenario-specific baseline and peak related I&T conditions to improve decision-making.
Observation of conditions preceding peak indoor air volatile org compound concentrations in vapor intrusion studies
Lutes, C., Holton, C., Schumacher, B., Zimmerman, J., Kondash, A., & Truesdale, R. (2021). Observation of conditions preceding peak indoor air volatile org compound concentrations in vapor intrusion studies. Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, 41(2), 99-111. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwmr.12452