We do not recommend taking routine air samples for mold in building air quality assessments. This is because mold concentrations in the air cannot be interpreted in relation to health risks. In many cases, mold spore sampling is performed on a very short-term basis. However, the results may not represent actual exposures.
Air molding tests offer the expert a starting point. However, if the tests end there and the expert tells the landlord that there is no mold, then this is a disservice. This is because air sampling for mold is accurate, but it doesn't tell the whole story. More comprehensive mold testing is needed.
Other mold tests are available. However, a test with mold air samples can help identify if there are high levels of mold spores in the air, which may be an indication of possible high humidity problems. Simply put, spore trap testing, or “air testing,” as it's commonly known, is not an inherently flawed test. Instead, the problem is how this information is analyzed and presented to the customer.
If the inspector did not perform any tests beyond the analysis of the spore traps and told the customer that the test showed no mold and that there was no mold problem, he hadn't done any favors. Similar technical deficiencies raise serious questions about the use of mold cultures, whether using a sedimentation plate, a swab or an Andersen sampler, to characterize the level of mold indoors. Airborne mold testing is the most accurate way to determine mold exposure and is used indoors. Air samples can be taken to help verify and gather more information in any area of a home where mold growth is suspected or confirmed.
Finally, if you have items in your house that have mold spores, you can put them in the dryer. Mold species are divided into two groups and are given a different weight in terms of their toxicity. Therefore, an airborne mold test can be negative when there is a high level of stachybotrians in the building. This comparison aims to show which mold species are native to the area where the house or dwelling is located.
Extensive testing beyond what is commonly known as “air testing” is needed to get a complete picture of a serious mold problem. If you suspect that there may be mold in the house, contact a professional to have it inspected. Fortunately, you can have reasonable confidence about the level of risk of mold or allergens in a building through competent visual inspection, the wise use of various tools and sampling methods, and competent determination work in the laboratory. If my budget was tight and I wanted to perform a mold test that was reliable, I would perform an ERMI test and not use any of these air test kits for molds made by yourself.
For this reason, small amounts of mold spores, mycotoxins, or endotoxins can cause a person with CIRS to become seriously ill.