Mold Sampling Methods
A Certified Mold Inspector
A Certified Mold Inspector (CMI) is a specialist who has been professionally trained to assess both the presence of microbial contamination, and the source of any underlying moisture intrusion. A certified inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology, performs air monitoring.
Air samples are collected via a Spore trap Cassette for collecting viable and non-viable airborne mold spore samples. Spore trap cassette samples were collected utilizing a spore trap cassette in conjunction with a high-volume air sampler. Ambient air samples are collected for a timed period (as specified in the chain of custody) at an airflow rate of 15 liters per minute for inside and outside ambient air. Results of the viable/non- viable spore trap cassette samples have been reported in Spores per cubic Meter of Air (Spores/M³). If air monitoring is performed, for comparative purposes, outdoor air samples should be collected concurrently at an air intake, if possible, and at a location representative of outdoor air.
The Outdoor reference air sample is very helpful in evaluating where there is an internally generated mold problem.
Additionally, Ambient Air monitoring should be performed within the ambient living areas if there is evidence from a visual inspection the ventilation systems may be contaminated. The purpose of such air monitoring is to assess the extent of contamination throughout the building. Sampling should be conducted while ventilation systems are operating. Air monitoring should be performed if the presence of mold is suspected in an area of the structure (e.g., a microbial volatile odor is detected.) And cannot be identified through a visual inspection or bulk sampling. The purpose of such air monitoring is to determine the location and/or extent of mold contamination. Air monitoring should also be performed if the building inhabitants are suffering from health problems, which are or may be associated with fungal exposure.
Surface (Swab) Sampling
A certified inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology, performs the surface sampling with the appropriate media for the site conditions. Surface samples
are collected either via sterile Swab or Tape-lift media used for collecting surface mold growth/spore samples. Surface samples were collected via swabs and/or tape-lifts provided by the laboratory. The surface samples were placed in airtight tubes and then transported to the lab.
Bulk Sampling A certified inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology, performs the bulk sampling. Bulk samples
are collected either by collecting a piece of the surfaces and substrate with visible mold growth/spore samples. Bulk samples were collected using appropriate dust control and management methodologies. The surface samples were placed in airtight plastic bags/containers provided by the laboratory and then transported to the lab.
A certified inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology, performs the ERMI dust sampling from dust reservoirs and areas where dust accumulates. ERMI dust samples are collected via swiffer pads. The ERMI dust sample provides a historical perspective of the presence of specific species of mold spores within the area. Its results are split into two groups. Group 1 includes 26 species of water damage indicator molds with some species can produce dangerous mycotoxins, which are toxins that can have harmful health effects in humans. Group 2 includes 10 species of common outdoor molds, which if found indoors indicate proliferation in the occupied space that could result in varied levels of allergic reactions. The samples were placed in airtight bags and then transported to the lab. Endotoxin: Endotoxins are derived from the cell walls of Gram-Negative bacteria (GNB). Gramnegative bacteria is found almost anywhere in nature. Their toxins are found within the outer layer membrane of the GNB cell wall. They do not have to be living, therefore both viable and non-viable gram-negative bacteria contribute endotoxins. Learn more
A certified inspector, trained in appropriate sampling methodology, performs the Mycotoxin Panel dust sampling from dust reservoirs and areas where dust accumulates. The Mycotoxin Panel dust samples are collected via sterile swabs provided by the laboratory. Like the ERMI method, this methodology tests dust, which can harbor mycotoxins for extended periods of time, thus providing a historical perspective of the presence of mycotoxin production within the occupied space. The Mycotoxin samples
for the presence of Ochratoxin, Aflatoxin, Trichothecene, and Gliotoxin were placed in airtight bags and then transported to the lab.
Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi like mold, which can infest buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs. A majority of mycotoxin exposures are through food ingestion or airborne exposure. In the European Union, 20% of all grains harvested have been found to be contaminated with mycotoxins. Unfortunately, mycotoxins are resistant to heat and many processing procedures. Fungi are able to grow on almost any surface, especially if the environment is warm and wet. Inner wall materials of buildings, wall paper, fiber glass insulation, ceiling tiles, and gypsum support are all good surfaces for fungi to colonize. These fungi then release mycotoxins into the environment causing symptoms of many different chronic diseases. Diseases and symptoms linked to mycotoxin exposure include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and liver damage. With our new MycoTOX Profile, we can identify mycotoxin exposures and make recommendations for detoxification treatments that have been effective.