How Do Testing For Mold Spores Work?

Asbestos refers to a group of 6 natural and fibrous materials that are made out of extremely thin fibers. It is a material that can be very useful for strengthening other materials and for fire-proofing. However, due to the adverse effects it can have on our health, asbestos is banned in many countries. It is important to note that it is not currently banned in the United States, thus, we have to be aware and alert about asbestos exposure. Here at Iris Environmental Laboratories, we provide the most professional mold inspection services in the country for extremely affordable prices.

Indoor Mold Air Testing

When testing for airborne mold spores, samples are taken from areas that are suspected to have mold or complaint with mold or health concerns. Typically, the testing includes a background sample obtained, additional air samples acquired from other areas of the building as a general background. Generally speaking the more testing data you have the better the base of data that can be interpreted.

When you perform mold testing on a basic level of comparison, you can also acquire a background air sample (sometimes 2) from outside. The exterior sample is the comparison sample as mold spores grow abundantly outside. You can also sample other non-complaint rooms in the building as a general background of indoor conditions.  Airborne mold spores should, at most times, be higher outside than the same mold spores on the inside of the building when tested.  If you have a very high spore outside you would expect to find that spore inside, but at a lower concentration. The caveat is when and where the outdoor sample is acquired, both for indoor and outdoor sample locations.  Indoors, room condition, possessions and other factors that can influence the sample results are factors to be considered.  Outdoor sample location, conditions outside, including weather and time of year, are factors in the equation regarding exposure pathways to the building from point of sampling.

Does everyone who tests for mold know what they are doing?

Unfortunately in the mold world, there are only a few who truly knows what they are doing or how to interpret the mold testing data. The mold sampler’s knowledge and experience is as important as the laboratory testing data because first-hand knowledge of the area tested is needed to interpret the analysis. Believe it or not, asbestos is generally non-harmful to our bodies unless it releases dust or needle-like fibers into the air, where it can then be transferred into our bodies. These fibers can easily lodge in our throats and noses. When this happens, we have to be sure to remove the fibers before it travels into our lungs. It is extremely dangerous when these fibers are trapped in our body.

All mold samples can have bias so it is the responsibility of the mold inspector to take into account the room sampled and how the contents or condition of the room could affect the sample.

Remember, there is always a likely exception to every rule or generalization, and because there is no direct relationship between the collected indoor and outdoor samples, performing a direct comparison with limited sampling can be and often is misleading. The range of expected variability when comparing limited data sets must also be considered.