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Measuring vinylchloride in soil air and indoor air

Advies meten van vinylchloride in bodem- en binnenlucht


In case of groundwater contaminations with the solvents 'pce' (tetrachloroethene) and 'tce' (trichloroethene), vinylchloride is often found as a breakdown product of the former two substances. Vinylchloride is highly volatile, making it likely that the substance evaporates through the soil into indoor air. Vinylchloride is considered highly toxic, even at low dosages. It is because of these specific properties that it is important to have reliable methods for low level detection of vinylchloride in soil air and indoor air. In practice, vinylchloride is rarely detected in indoor air, even in situations where high concentrations are predicted by volatilization models. The question to be answered is whether this is caused by the applied methods for measurement, or by shortfalls of the models.

Traditionally, vinylchloride is sampled using sorbent tubes. In this report a selection is made of methods for the sampling and analysis of vinylchloride in air. The methods were then applied on two locations in The Netherlands known to be heavily polluted with pce and tce. Vinylchloride was actually detected in only one soil air sample. This contributes to growing evidence that fast degradation of vinylchloride occurs on a larger scale than has been previously assumed. In this report it is advised to investigate how the existing volatilization models can be improved to enhance the prediction of indoor air concentrations of vinyl chloride.

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