Mold Testing

Aspergillus, Basidiospores, Chaetomiu, Curvularia, Stachybotrys and Torula.. Not only are there over a hundred thousand different molds, apparently they can out-spell us as well!

“Should I test for mold?”
The primary reason for testing would be to identify the exact types of mold present. The general consensus is that if you see or smell mold, you have mold. And that mold in any abundance is not healthy and should be removed. Below are different agencies statements:

The Minnesota Department of Health does not recommend testing for mold. They further state, “Instead, you should simply assume there is a problem whenever you see mold or smell mold odors. Testing should never take the place of visual inspection and it should never use up resources that are needed to correct moisture problems and remove visible growth.”

CDC Center for Disease Control state, “Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.”

The Arizona Dept. of Health, “does not recommend testing as the first step to determine if you have a mold problem. Reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and requires equipment not available to the general public.  Another problem is that there are few available standards for judging what is an acceptable quantity of mold.  In all locations, there are some outdoor levels of molds.  If sampling is carried out, an outdoor air sample needs to be taken at the same time as the sample indoors, to provide a baseline measurement.  Since the susceptibility of individuals varies so greatly, sampling is at best a general guide.  The simplest approach is: if you can see or smell mold, you have a problem. Once you know the problem exists, follow the procedure given next.  Unless the source of moisture is removed and the contaminated area is cleaned and disinfected, mold growth is likely to recur.”