There are 3 types of molds:
1) Allergenic which produces allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma.
2) Pathogenic which causes health issues in those suffering acute illness.
3) Toxigenic produces toxic substances that lead to dangerous and deadly health issues.
Though a lot of molds will be obvious upon a visual inspection, not all are. Mold can hide behind and inside walls. What if you have health concerns regarding mold? What is available?
At Safe Home Environmental we offer several options to meet your needs:
Direct Sampling, Air Sampling, ERMI sampling, & HERTSMI-2 sampling.
Direct Sampling: Uses swabs or bio tape to send to the lab. Direct sampling is most often performed in attics & crawlspaces. Where ever “apparent mold” is seen.
Samples are sent to a qualified lab with results coming back within 2 – 3 days.
Safe Home Environmental also can test for the presence of mold spores in the dwelling. Air-O-Cell cassettes are used for this service. An air pump is used to pull air through a cassette that captures debris from the air on a sticky slide within the cassette. This service is most often performed when there is a concern for mold with no “apparent mold” visible. It is also used after remediation of a property has been completed. This is the industry standard.
Typically 3 samples are taken, two indoor and 1 outdoors. The outdoor sample becomes the point of reference to understand the indoor samples.
The cassette is sent to the lab where it is analyzed for mold species and quantity. Results are typically returned within 2 – 3 days.
ERMI & HERTSMI-2 Sampling is the newest form of testing. It is typically performed when there is a health concern involved.
ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) and HERTSMI-2 (Health Effects Roster of Type-Specific Formers of Mycotoxins and Inflammagens with a Health Weighting) testing were developed as methods to assess indoor environments for potential mold contamination and associated health risks.
ERMI was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate mold contamination in homes. It uses a DNA-based method to analyze dust samples from buildings for the presence of specific mold species associated with water damage. This index helps in quantifying the relative moldiness of a building compared to a national database.
HERTSMI-2, an extension of ERMI, was developed by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, a physician specializing in biotoxin-related illnesses. It’s a subset of molds within ERMI that are considered more closely linked to adverse health effects. HERTSMI-2 focuses on specific mold species that are known to produce mycotoxins or cause inflammation, and it assigns a health risk weighting to these species.
Both ERMI and HERTSMI-2 testing aims to provide a standardized and quantitative assessment of indoor mold contamination and associated health risks. They help identify problematic mold species in indoor environments, aiding in remediation efforts and potentially reducing health risks for occupants exposed to indoor mold.
Results for either ERMI or HERTSMI-2 testing is typically 7 – 9 days.
For more information regarding mold check out the EPA website.
We perform all environmental testing by EPA guidelines for the most accurate results possible. In this electronic age, it’s relatively fast and painless. Have more questions? Give us a call or email.
IMT is IAC2 Certified for Mold