Assessment of Hazardous Ground Gas Risks

There is a program called the Hazardous Ground Gas Risk Assessment that focuses on the evaluation of certain ground gases and landfill gas that are potentially harmful to the environment and human health. The fact that you are reading this post implies that you already understand and acknowledge the existence of hazardous gases coming from the ground and landfills and that you know that the danger they pose is unique to that of water and soil contamination. The idea behind the program of assessing the potential of hazardous ground gas risk lies in the possibility of them triggering a disaster like an explosion or fire. Since these gases are free to move in different directions, there also is a possibility of them spreading uncontrollably, causing havoc to human health. Therefore, there is a need for quick action or response.



Landfill gas is a mixture of several volatile organic compounds as well as trace gases. Microbes are responsible for the creation of the compounds via anaerobic decomposition of the organic waste found in landfills, hence the term. Landfill gas has methane and carbon dioxide in it. In a typical landfill area, gases will migrate from waste mass to the areas surrounding the landfill. The gases will reach buildings, structures, and other receptors. Migration of the gases is a naturally-occurring process that constantly changes based on factors like diffusion and the atmosphere. With the absence or lack of any preventative solution, the result is the creation of an environment conducive and ripe for prospects of asphyxiation and explosion. It is also worthy of mention that the situation could have another hazardous ground gas risk in the form of adversely affecting vegetative growth.


Talking about hazardous ground gas, you must understand that the risks are in some way linked to substance volatility. Unlike landfill gas, ground gas becomes volatile once it is in its liquid form. The most common example is when there is a hydrocarbon leak happening in a storage container underground. What happens is that the gas compounds coming from hydrocarbons and solvents will react similarly to landfill gas and could showcase the same adverse effects. But what makes hazardous ground gas even worst is that it offers a higher risk to human upon exposure.


152 - Assessment of Hazardous Ground Gas RisksHazardous ground gas risk assessment is a technical and specialised field. In other words, it is a job that only very few people in the world can perform with utmost accuracy and expertise. It is not something that anyone can do with the absence of training. Experience in handling hazardous ground gas and landfill gas is an indispensable requirement. The fact that exposure and failure to contain the gases can lead to explosion, fire, and asphyxiation is enough reason that the one conducting the assessment must have all the knowledge and skills.