Here are the different sampling methodologies we can perform. Specific samples and quantitates depend on the inspection performed and condition of the environment.
Air Sampling ;
The 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 turnaround times available.
- Low chance of sample contamination.
Surface Samples ;
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.
- The direct exam is inexpensive, and can be performed quickly.
- A useful test for initial site sampling.
- Direct examination of a surface indicates all mold present in a given area.
- Direct sampling may reveal indoor reservoirs of spores that have not yet become airborne.
This is a methodology developed by the EPA that defines the population of mold species in the settled dust and or dust reservoirs.
- The results of the EPA 36 outlines the 36 different mold types down to the species level.
- This is helpful in identifying potential toxic molds and or mycotoxin activity.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain mold species as a toxic defense to protect their food source and territory. This sampling will detect the presence of three types of Mycotoxins that are produced by . These toxins include Tricothecenes, Gliotoxins, Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A
- To understand the potential toxic load in the indoor environment.
Endotoxin Testing :
Endotoxins are derived from the cell walls of Gram Negative bacteria (GNB). Gram-negative bacteria is found almost anywhere in nature. Their toxins are found within the outer layer membrane of the GNB cell wall. They do not have to be living, therefore both viable and non-viable gram-negative bacteria contribute endotoxins. The most common routes of endotoxin exposure are through inhalation, or through intestinal tract absorption through food or water. The health effect of endotoxins varies depending on the individual, dosage and route of exposure.
Water Testing ;
Testing the water allows a knowledgeable approach to address the specific problems of a water supply. This helps ensure that the water source is being properly protected from potential contamination, and that an appropriate treatment system is selected and is operating properly. Testing types include: Heavy Metals, Turbidity, Bacteria, Mold.
Full Particulate Dust Sample Identification ;
Incorporates physical testing with Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) to identify nearly all particles from cotton fibers, dander and dust mites to unusual materials such as carbon black, metal oxides and minerals. This method is the perfect procedure for initial site surveys where Indoor Air Quality is in question.
Formaldehyde Testing ;
Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly used in the manufacture of building materials and numerous household products. At room temperature, formaldehyde vaporizes into the air, potentially causing serious health problems. It is also a by-product of combustion processes. When you burn things like natural gas, wood, gasoline, or tobacco, formaldehyde gas is released into the air. The most significant sources of formaldehyde in homes are: pressed wood products like particle board, plywood paneling, and MDF (medium density fiberboard); foam insulation; carpets; drapery fabrics; resins; glues; cigarettes; and un-vented, fuel-burning appliances like gas stoves or kerosene heaters.
VOC Testing ;
It monitors for hundreds of chemicals in the air (called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds) and active mold growth with a single air sample. It not only reports on the total levels of VOCs and mold present in the property, but it also identifies the potential sources of air pollutants (e.g., paint, adhesives, flooring, cabinets, heating fuel, dead animals and hundreds of other products and materials that emit gases into the air) giving you actionable information on the steps necessary to improve the air quality in your property.
- Unusual and noticeable odors, stale or stuffy air
- Noticeable lack of air movement
- Dirty or faulty central heating or air conditioning equipment
- Damaged flue pipes or chimneys
- Unvented combustion air sources for natural gas or propane appliances
- Excessive humidity
- Air-tight building
- Presence of molds and mildew
- Health reaction after remodeling, weatherizing, using new furniture, using household or hobby products, or moving into a new building