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Case Study

Vapor Intrusion Evaluation at a Daycare Facility in a Disadvantaged Community

By Alexandra Meyers, MPH, BCES, Senior Scientist
Mala Pattanayek, Senior Consultant


In 2021, a daycare center serving a disadvantaged community in Oakland, California was closed due to concerns about potentially unsafe levels of volatile organic compounds in the facility’s air. The facility was to remain closed until it could be demonstrated that re-occupancy of the facility was safe. A nonprofit agency runs the daycare that serves low-income, bilingual children. An expedited but comprehensive evaluation was needed to assess indoor air quality.


Integral designed and conducted a vapor intrusion human health risk assessment to evaluate potential health risks for children and adults who use the facility. We developed site-specific indoor air and soil vapor screening levels in accordance with California state requirements. We then compared the maximum measured concentrations to the site-specific screening levels. Through close collaboration with the daycare facility owners and operators, we developed multiple scenarios that reflected short- and long-term exposure durations and effects on various age groups that use the facility.


We presented the methods, results, and conclusions of the evaluation to state regulators. Agency review was expedited by the dynamic and collaborative approach between Integral and the daycare facility. The regulators agreed with our conclusion that human health risks were below California risk thresholds. The state agency approved re-occupancy based on the results of confirmation samples. This approval allowed the daycare facility to re-open within a few months following the evaluation. The facility continues to serve the disadvantaged community in Oakland, California.

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