What is Air Sampling for Mold?

Finding Mold is Essential to Your Health

Mold is all around us—just in low concentrations. It’s only when mold is found in high concentrations in an indoor space or environment that it becomes an issue. Extreme mold growth poses many health risks to those who are exposed.

If you suspect there may be a mold problem at your business or facility, you need to get the area sampled for lab testing and analysis. Identifying a mold issue is necessary to start the cleanup process and ensure that your staff or customers are safe.

There are several methods to sample for mold, but one is more accurate than others for determining exposure. Air sampling is the best method for pinpointing if mold has affected the air quality.

What is Air Sampling for Mold?

Air sampling itself is a process that obtains known amounts of air that are then sent to a lab for analysis of the presence and concentration of contaminants. Air sampling for mold is just as it sounds: the process of air sampling with the intention of testing for mold.

When to Conduct Air Sampling for Mold

Sampling is typically done in conjunction with a visual inspection for mold. If the inspection results in mold being likely, then it’s smart to take an air sample for further analysis.

If the initial examination does not find mold but there is still an odor or possible conditions, such as moisture, then an air sample should still be done.

How Does the Whole Process Work?

Put simply, air samples are taken using a collection device that pulls air in and is later tested.

Once the sample is collected and arrives at the lab, it must go through testing to identify and measure mold spores. There are two main types of mold testing used: nonviable and viable.

Types of Mold Testing

Both types of testing determine mold exposure by having air pass through an impactor device. The air is pulled into the device over a sticky substance. This substance catches any mold spores that may be present. While both of these tests start off the same, they continue in different ways.

Viable Mold Testing

Viable mold testing uses a viable sampler, such as the Anderson Impactor, so the spores end up on a petri dish. This petri dish contains a food source so the mold will continue to grow in the controlled environment. This process helps determine the type of mold.

Non-Viable Mold Testing

This type of test uses a slit impaction sampler. An example of this would be the Zefron Air-O-Cell cassette. This is a small plastic cassette with a small opening leading to a stick surface inside the cell. The mold spores are drawn in and adhere to the surface. A lab will then open the cassette to examine the sample under a microscope to see the number of spores.

Viable mold testing allows for a quick turnaround time.

Get Reliable Mold Testing Supplies and Results

EHS can provide you with the testing supplies you need and run the tests necessary to determine if your business or facility has a mold problem.

Keep your staff and customers safe from excessive mold exposure. Contact EHS today to learn more about our services.