Types of Mold Tests

Air Sampling:

The Air-O-Cellâ„¢ Air Sampling cassette is a sampling device designed for the rapid collection and analysis of a wide range of airborne aerosols. These include fungal spores, pollen, insect parts, skin cell fragments, fibers, and inorganic particulates. Air enters the cassette, the particles become impacted on the sampling substrate, and the air leaves through the exit orifice. The airflow and patented cassette housing is designed in such a way that the particles are distributed and deposited equally on a special glass slide contained in the cassette housing called the ``trace."


Useful for initial site testing, especially if fungal growth is not visible. Quick and simple procedure. Fast turn around times available. Low chance of sample contamination.

Surface Sampling

Tape lift, bulk and swab sampling, are techniques used for direct examination. A direct exam allows for the immediate determination of the presence of fungal spores as well as what types of fungi are present. Direct examinations should only be used to sample visible mold growth in a contaminated area since most. Most surfaces collect a mixture of fungal spores that are normally present in the environment.


1. The direct exam is inexpensive, and can be performed quickly.
2. A useful test for initial site sampling.
3. Direct examination of a surface indicates all mold present in a given area.
4. Direct sampling may reveal indoor reservoirs of spores that have not yet become airborne.

Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI)

According to the EPA, one of the problems with mold exposure estimates has been the lack of a standardized method for describing the mold burden in a home (Vesper 2010 , in press). United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) researchers have developed a metric called the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) to objectively describe the home mold burden (Vesper et al. 2007). A DNA-based analysis called Mold Specific Quantitive PCR (MSQPCR) of 36 molds including, the 26 Group 1 species associated with homes with water damage and the 10 Group 2 species which are found in homes independent of water damage, forms the basis of the ERMI.


1. Great for getting an overall assessment of the structure as it related to mold contamination.
2. Developed by the EPA.