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Vapor Intrusion

Vapor Intrusion Graphic
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Vapor Intrusion


Chemical spill questions
Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

Chemical exposure questions
Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

Vapor intrusion sometimes occurs where chemicals were spilled, leaked, or dumped and not cleaned up.

For example, properties such as gas stations, dry cleaners, or businesses operating metal parts degreasers use chemicals like gasoline or solvents that can cause vapor intrusion. If these chemicals are mishandled and get into the ground, they can move through the soil and groundwater. Although the chemicals are often released as liquid, they easily evaporate, becoming a vapor in the air that you often cannot see or smell.

At some point, the vapors may come in contact with your home or business – usually around your basement or your  floor. These vapors may get into your home through openings such as cracks, or other openings around pipes and sumps. This is a concern because you may breathe in these harmful vapors without knowing it.

What is vapor intrusion? Video

What is vapor intrusion?

Watch this 2-minute video to learn what vapor intrusion is, what causes it, why it is a concern, and what can typically be done to address a vapor intrusion problem.

For professionals

Vapor intrusion is the process of vapors migrating from volatile chemicals in contaminated soil or ground water through subsurface soils and/or preferential pathways (such as underground utilities) and impacting the indoor air quality of any overlying buildings. The volatilization to indoor air pathway (VIAP) is the exposure pathway that evaluates the risk posed from vapor intrusion and direct volatilization.

The VIAP information linked to this web page includes specific guidance developed by EGLE, reference materials including technical resources, training opportunities, and examples of VIAP investigations completed within the state of Michigan. There is also a district point of contact for any questions you may have on the VIAP in your area.

Northville Garage

Success stories

Sites in Michigan that have been successfully redeveloped after vapor intrusion investigations.

a calculator sitting atop paperwork aside a pen

Rule 290 calculation tool

Do not reuse old versions of this tool for new installations.

Always download the file from this page before use. Data used in the background of this tool is updated monthly and can impact calculations and compliance status.

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Training and webinars

Recorded webinars, past trainings, prior announcements, and other training opportunities