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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Your Environment > Vapor Intrusion Vapor Intrusion: Migration of Chemical Vapors in the Soil to Indoor Air

Vapor intrusion is a term used to describe the process in which chemical vapors from contaminated soil or groundwater affect the indoor air quality in a building. Whenever chemicals are spilled on the ground or leak from an underground storage tank, they can soak into the soil or dissolve into the groundwater and begin to spread. The contaminated soil or groundwater can emit vapors that spread to areas occupied by buildings. Vapors can enter the buildings through cracks in basements, foundations, sewer lines, and any other type of opening. Occasionally, the vapors can increase to concentrations that may be harmful to human health.


The Remediation Closure Guide (RCG) developed by IDEM became effective on March 22, 2012. It is a revision of the draft vapor intrusion pilot program from 2006. This website will be a clearinghouse for information regarding IDEM's vapor intrusion program. You will be able to find the latest guidance from IDEM, U.S. EPA, and other states. The site will also contain learning resources for citizens who may be worried about vapor intrusion in their homes.