Brief Introduction of Mold Analysis

Used for determining the types of mold as well as the amounts of mold in air or on surfaces.

Collection

Samples are collected as either bulk/tape samples, or onto a mold sampling cassette. The cassettes require the use of a pump, which typically pumps a volume of 5 – 20 liters per minute

Analysis

If a bulk/tape sample is analyzed, the bulk sample is put onto a piece of clear tape, and the clear tape is placed onto a glass slide. The glass slide is placed under a microscope for identification of the mold spores. If an air cassette is analyzed, the glass slide inside the cassette is put onto a larger glass slide, and the larger slide is placed under a microscope for identification and quantification of the mold spores.

Equipment

Clear Scotch tape, air cassettes, sampling pump, and a light microscope. Microscope should have at least a 10X, a 40X or 60X, and a 100X objective lens.

Detection Limits

Single spore observed from a 75L air cassette sample = 13 spores per cubic meter (s/m3) .

Advantages

An air test can quickly determine if an indoor area has mold spores above the expected concentration. The bulk/tape test can determine if mold is present or absent.

Disadvantages

While the air test can determine if a problem exists, it cannot necessarily determine the origin of the problem. Also, there is no absolute numerical result that specifies that a room is “clean” or “dirty”. Results can vary based on the season, the time of day, the temperature at the time of sampling, and the amount of rainfall recently experienced. The same can be said for the bulk/tape samples .

Alternatives

Unknown.

 
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