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Vapour sampling instrument

Vapour sampling

Although ground gas is most commonly associated with bulk gases, like methane, risks are often driven by low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Find out more about how we use vapour sampling to monitor for VOCs and assess the risks that they can pose.

See active vapour sampling in action on one of our Scotland project sites.

What are volatile organic compounds?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a large family of chemical substances which can pose chronic health risks. These risks only become apparent over many years, or even decades.

These substances can cause harm are relatively low concentrations - such as parts per million (ppm) or even parts per billion (ppb).

This means we use an additional range of specialist techniques to monitor for these compounds. And that that's were vapour sampling comes in!

What is vapour sampling?

Vapour sampling is a range of techniques we can use to monitor for the presence, type and concentration of VOCs at a site. 


We can use handheld photo-ionisation devices whilst periodic monitoring to indicate whether VOCs are present. But we often also used lab-based analytical techniques to identify which VOCs are present and in what concentrations.

We can use passive sampling which provides representative time-based averages data, or active (pumped) sampling which provides relative concentrations of the compounds identified as present. We can also use vacuum canisters to assess vapour concentrations in existing developments as part of a risk assessment.

Handheld vapour monitoring instrument
Handheld vapour monitoring instrument

What are the benefits?

A proper understanding of the presence, type and concentrations of any VOCs present is crucial to ensuring appropriate measures are put in place, where needed, to protect future occupants and workers from long-term health risks.

Even with a relatively short monitoring period, vapour sampling can provide robust evidence on any potential hazards from VOC, which can form part of the ground gas risk assessment for you site.

For an example of this is action, take a look at one of our projects, where our monitoring and data analysis helped our client understand the potential hazards VOCs presented at their re-development site.

Want to know more? Then feel free to get in touch.


01324 804 480



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