California officials tackle toxic soil contaminants at affordable housing development project site



Soil contamination issues posed problems for an affordable housing development project that would be built on former industrial land in a southern California city. In late August, a California County Supervisory Board and Housing Authority met to approve and execute a voluntary agreement providing for activities that support the completion of the due diligence and environmental clean-up necessary to make the property suitable for development. .

According to the county, a Phase II environmental site assessment unexpectedly found tetrachlorethylene, also known as PCE or PERC, in the soil. Tetrachlorethylene is a manufactured chemical that has been widely used in dry cleaning, as a chemical intermediate, as a metal degreaser, and as a component of some consumer products.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that tetrachlorethylene can reasonably be considered a carcinogen and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified it as a Group 2A carcinogen. In 1988, California designated PERC under Proposition 65 as known to cause cancer.

?? In some cases, people can even be exposed to PERC through a process known as vapor intrusion if they live or work in a building constructed above contaminated soil or groundwater, ?? said Joseph Frasca, senior vice president of marketing at LA Testing. This happens when the chemical migrates through the air in the structure through cracks and openings in the building foundation. At LA Testing, we provide environmental, vapor intrusion and industrial hygiene testing and sampling supplies for tetrachlorethylene and many other industrial chemicals.

To learn more about this or other environmental, air quality, labor, health and safety testing services, please visit, send an email at or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s premier laboratory for indoor air quality testing for damage from asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, charcoal, ash and smoke, particles and other chemicals. Additionally, LA Testing offers a full line of air investigation and sampling equipment for professionals and the public. LA Testing maintains a comprehensive list of accreditations including: AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has several laboratories throughout California, including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.

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