The federal government has a number of guidelines to assist with the process of testing and help homeowners understand their options. As your local mold expert, Mold Solutions by Cowleys can also help you choose the right course of action for your needs.
The following information is from the mold testing section on the EPA website. For more information on mold, visit www.epa.gov/mold.
Mold testing is generally unnecessary when visible mold is present. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building’s compliance with federal mold standards.
Surface sampling is another option for areas that have been cleaned or had remediation. Always use a mold professional with experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
It can be a challenge to investigate hidden mold, and it is best to use caution when the process could disrupt potential mold growth sites and spread spores. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, it is best to hire experienced professional.
Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants. Read the publication, “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home” at www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html [EPA 402-K-02-003] or download the pdf.
The following information is from the mold section on the CDC website. Click here for more information: http://www.cdc.gov/mold/
The CDC does not recommend routine sampling for mold, and it is usually unnecessary to identify the species of mold found in a home. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since individual reactions can vary greatly due to the amount and type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. The truth is, there is a potential health risk if you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled. No matter what type of mold is present, you hire a professional for mold removal.
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.
If you do wish to conduct environmental sampling for molds, you should ask the consultants for established criteria for interpreting the test results. It is best to know in advance what process they will use and what recommendation they will make. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the building’s characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
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