A review of vapor intrusion models

Yijun Yao, Rui Shen, Kelly G. Pennell, Eric M. Suuberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


A complete vapor intrusion (VI) model, describing vapor entry of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into buildings located on contaminated sites, generally consists of two main parts: one part describing vapor transport in the soil and the other describing its entry into the building. Modeling the soil vapor transport part involves either analytically or numerically solving the equations of vapor advection and diffusion in the subsurface. Contaminant biodegradation must often also be included in this simulation, and can increase the difficulty of obtaining a solution, especially when explicitly considering coupled oxygen transport and consumption. The models of contaminant building entry pathway are often coupled to calculations of indoor air contaminant concentration, and both are influenced by building construction and operational features. The description of entry pathway involves consideration of building foundation characteristics, while calculation of indoor air contaminant levels requires characterization of building enclosed space and air exchange within this. This review summarizes existing VI models, and discusses the limits of current screening tools commonly used in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2457-2470
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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