Air Sampling

Air Sampling - Understanding Laboratory Results

EMS can have an air sampling technician come to your home or business to help identify whether you have a elevated or toxic mold issue. Air sampling is just one tool that can help determine if you have a mold amplification site within your building or residence. A comprehensive evaluation that may include mold sampling is the best way to confirm if you have a serious mold issue and if remediation is justified.

Standards: There are currently no state or federal standards or guidelines regarding results of fungal samples. There are no levels, which are typical or permissible. There are no recommended exposure limits, no permissible exposure limits, no threshold limit values and no short term exposure limits.

These guidelines are not intended, nor should they be used, for health evaluation purposes or to evaluate the safety of an occupied space. Every individual will react differently to mold spore exposure inhalations, some people have absolutely no reaction whatsoever and another family member may be chronically ick.
A physician should be consulted regarding any health and/or safety questions.

Air Sampling and laboratory findings must only be considered as part of an overall mold investigation. The interpretation of the findings must only be made by a qualified individual after reviewing all relevant data. Visual information and environmental conditions measured during the site assessment are crucial to any final interpretation of the results.

Numerical guidelines cannot be used as the primary determinant as to whether a mold problem may exist. Concentrations of mold in the air will vary depending on weather conditions, building air flow, time of day and time of year. Comparisons between indoor and outdoor mold levels, types of mold found, visual information and environmental conditions are more important in interpreting results than reliance on specific numeric thresholds.

The ACGIH ( American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists ) published in 1999 " Bioaerosols - Assessment and Contol." This book is a comprehensive guide to the recognition, evaluation, and control of biologically derived contaminants. Air quality experts also use this as a reference guide when evaluating lab reports and air sampling.

The persistent presence of significant numbers of toxigenic fungi (e.g. Stachybotrys atra, toxigenic Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomimum and Fusarium species) indicate that further investigation and action should be taken. The confirmed presence of one or more fungal species occurring as a significant percentage of a sample in indoor air samples and not similarly present in concurrent outdoor samples is evidence of a fungal amplifier.
The "normal" indoor air is qualitatively similar and quantitatively lower than that of outdoor air. The significant presence of fungi in humidifiers and diffuser ducts and on moldy ceiling tiles and other surfaces requires investigation and remedial action regardless of the airborne mold concentrations.

Generally, mold spores are present everywhere. As a general rule, "normal" air is qualitatively similar and quantitatively lower than that of outdoor air. When the converse is true, it is likely that an indoor source of mold may exist. However, even this most basic rule may produce misleading results. Airborne mold spore levels vary widely due to factors such as weather conditions and activity levels. For example, in a "normal" home, indoor mold spore levels may be elevated above outdoor spore levels after vacuuming (when airborne indoor levels could be unusually high) or after a heavy snow/rain (when outdoor levels could be unusually low).

Surface Sampling primarily identifies the types and relative proportions of mold on a surface. Viable surface sampling will identify living mold, while nonviable surface sampling will identify all mold (but cannot distinguish between living or dead mold). Surface sampling may confirm that a substance is mold or identify the types of mold present on the surface. Because mold is everywhere, there is a high probability that a surface sample from a "clean" surface will still identify mold on that surface.

Enviromax Services, Inc.

55931 Gratiot Ave,

Chesterfield, Mi 48051

Phone. 586-749-5510


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Currently serving the following communities in the State of Michigan:

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