Relating and Educating in any Language

For an EnviroForensics field engineer, it can be difficult at times to explain to a home owner why we need to come inside to obtain some of their air!

Recently, EnviroForensics’ Casey McFall and Matt Bono needed to ask for permission to enter a home for vapor intrusion sampling. The owner, a kind lady, spoke no English! Luckily, Matt has some muy bien Spanish skills.

He patiently explained to the woman what VI is and the need to gather air samples in her house. He explained, without alarming the resident, that the groundwater and subsoil beneath her home may contain traces of volatile organic compounds spilled over the years from a nearby business. If the compounds are there, they may potentially enter her home as vapor and cause health problems. We would use air samples to design a cleanup program — if one is needed — that will assure the safety of her home. (She was also relieved to hear that the work would not cost her anything!)

Certainly, every encounter with the public is different, and knowledge is continuously evolving about subjects as complex as VI. EnviroForensics is a national leader in VI assessment and remediation; we are even consulted by other environmental prime contractors.

So, EnviroForensics speaks with authority on VI and other subjects involving removing contaminates from soil and water. But we also try our best to talk compassionately with homeowners who have just learned that their house may sit atop something that could potentially harm them.

Casey says the resident was very at ease with Matt and appreciated his patience in carefully translating our request into Spanish.

Thanks to Matt and Casey, this important project was completed, and EnviroForensics — at least Matt and Casey — made a new friend. (Mi Amigo!)