As a result of our physical mold investigation by one of our nationally certified inspectors, additional mold sampling options are available to determine the specific type of mold(s) present, as well as the level of the contamination.
Mold samples are analyzed by a degreed microbiologist at an AIHA, ISO/IFC 17025 accredited laboratory. Based on laboratory results we produce a comprehensive remediation protocol report for a mold abatement company to follow. Lab results can be produced within a 24 to 72 hour period.
When mold is visible, direct surface sampling is recommended. This sample method can determine types of molds present, however it is not an accurate measure of quantity of airborne mold spores present at the time of testing.
Sample lab report: Sample Report
Air Quality Testing:
Air sampling MAY BE necessary to quantify the amount of mold spores in the air, but only measures mold spores in the air at the time of the test period. Air testing is also recommend for clearance testing at the conclusion of all mold remediation procedures.
A Powerful Research DNA Investigation Test for Screening Homes for Mold Contamination: ERMI EPA Link
For the past decade we have been implementing an EPA research DNA mold test suited to screen homes for mold, when ordered by a client’s physician. Based on published data from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers, the Relative Mold Index (ERMI) test was been developed to evaluate the potential risk of indoor mold growth and associated health effects. Mold and its health effects present a growing concern for home owners, physicians, real estate professionals and researchers.
Because ERMI was developed using a nationally representative sampling of over 1,000 homes, researchers believe that one can compare any newly sampled home in the United States to ERMI, and assess the home’s mold burden relative to the national sampling of 1,096 homes (i.e., lowest 25 percent, highest 25 percent, etc.).
Using ERMI protocols, targeted mold species are be quantified bio-chemically. Mold species are divided into two groups by the ERMI. The first group of 26 indicator species represents molds associated with water damage, while the second group represents common indoor molds. The overall ERMI measurement provides a rank of the “moldiness” to compare the results to a national scale. An ERMI score is also used in conjunction with individual mold species quantifications to determine mold conditions.
Researchers have applied ERMI in childhood asthma studies in cities across the United States, including Cincinnati, Chapel Hill, Detroit, Boston, Kansas City and San Diego. The studies have found higher ERMI values in homes of asthmatic children compared to controls. The EPA readily acknowledges that MSQPCR and ERMI are research protocols and have not been validated or peer reviewed by EPA for public use. Ongoing research by Dr. Richie Shoemaker M.D. and other physicians show promising mold illness patient treatment outcomes utilizing ERMI testing data.
Sample ERMI report: Sample_Report_ERMI
Mycotoxins are small (MW ∼700), toxic chemical products formed as secondary metabolites by a few fungal species. Ochratoxins and Aflatoxins are mycotoxins of major significance and hence there has been significant research on broad range of analytical and detection techniques that could be useful and practical. Due to the variety of structures of these toxins, it is impossible to use one standard technique for analysis and/or detection. Practical requirements for high-sensitivity analysis and the need for a specialist laboratory setting create challenges for routine analysis. Several existing analytical techniques, which offer flexible and broad-based methods of analysis and in some cases detection.
Sensitivity to indoor allergens poses a worldwide health problem to large segments of the population, and is relevant from early childhood to adulthood. Across the United States the number of people with asthma and allergies has increased dramatically.
Sources for these allergens include pets (cats, dogs), pests (dust mites, cockroaches, mice), and mold spores.
Dust samples for indoor allergens can be collected using a dust cassette. Dust can be collected from carpets, upholstery, bedding, or anywhere else where allergens accumulate. In some cases, it is desirable to collect samples in multiple locations in order to determine relative allergen levels in order to identify problem areas.
The sample is processed according to ELISA or MARIA standard protocols and controls. A portion of the dust sample received is weighed, extracted and then analyzed for dust mite, cockroach, cat, mouse, rat, and mold allergens.