Air Sampling Procedure
Air sampling is the most effective method for determining whether a mold infestation is potentially creating an unsafe living/working environment. Although not perfect, it is the standard for our industry. Our testing procedure incorporates the AirOCell® cassette. Air quality is tested by drawing 15 liters of air per minute and impacting the airborne particles over a glass substrate. Typically, the process runs for 5 minutes producing a sample size of 75 liters. Subsequently, the cassette is sent to an AIHA accredited laboratory where the spores are microscopically identified and counted.
Limited Mold Inspection
A limited mold inspection is used solely to determine whether or not a mold contamination problem exists in a given structure. It is not intended to locate the source(s) of any contamination if such is found on the property. Furthermore, the limited number of areas sampled may not be indicative of the overall scope of the contamination problem throughout the structure. The cost of sampling to determine the source(s) of mold contamination is not justified until a limited sampling has determined whether or not a problem actually exists. Only then are additional inspection costs to find sources of the problem justified.
Interpreting Your Laboratory Results
Toxic molds have received increasing attention as the evidence increases as to their interaction with the human body. Mycotoxins have been identified as the part of the mold that causes the greatest problems with human physiology. There are newer technologies that can detect mycotoxins. AirOCell®’s are not able to do this.
Through an inspection we are seeking out mold count levels that were elevated beyond that found in the natural environment. Likewise, we are looking for the underlying cause of the moisture problem(s) that permits mold spores to flourish. Below is a brief description of the terms commonly found in your report:
- Volume (m) Volume is provided in cubic meters. 5 minutes at 15 liters per minute yields a 75-liter sample. At the discretion of the inspector 10 minutes operation at 15 liter per minute yielding 150 liters may be utilized.
- “Raw Count” This count represents the actual total number of mold spores counted by the laboratory technician microscopically.
- “Spores/m3” This number is extrapolated by multiplying the total spores by a conversion factor representing the volume of air samples.