Mold Testing

A picture of mold testing microscope

Mold Testing Microscope

Mold testing involves analysis of samples collected from residential and commercial properties. Samples for mold testing include air for either viable or non-viable analysis and surface samples such as swabs, bulk (pieces of material, dust or liquids), tape lift, and contact plates.

Here is some helpful information about How to Collect and Send Samples.

Samples For Mold Testing And Analysis

  • Air Samples
    • Culture (viable) analysis. This includes enumeration of the colony forming units (CFU) and identification of molds to genus or species. Samples may include RCS, Andersen, LARO-100, or any other media suitable for culture analysis. The report includes a list of recovered molds and their concentration as colony forming units (CFU), statistical comparisons of samples where possible and information on the recovered molds where available.
    • Non-viable (total spore count) Analysis. Samples include Air-O-Cell, VersaTrap Cassette, VersaTrap Sampling Cassettes, SKC BioStage, SKC BioCassette, Micro 5, Cyclex D, LARO-100, PCM and other cassettes. This analysis involve spore counting and identification of different categories of mold spores. The report includes spore counts for each category of spores and the grand total spore count for all spores per cubic meter of air. Wherever possible spore counts and categories of spores for all the samples are compared.

Why is Mold Testing and Identification Important?

Accurate identification of molds is important. It helps alleviate unnecessary concern and aids in decision-making. Suitable samples for mold testing include:

  • Pieces of material with signs of mold
  • Tape lift or swab samples taken from surfaces suspected of mold
  • Air samples: These include non-viable and viable samples.

The lab report includes health effects (where available) for each mold identified. To send samples, download our Sample Analysis Request Form.

  • Bulk samples. For example, drywall material, wallpaper, pieces of carpet, etc. Bulk samples could be analysed by either direct microscopic examination (DME) or culturing. A report for DME analysis gives a listing of the observed molds in rank order. Information of the recovered molds is also given. Culturing involve identification of recovered molds to species and listing them in rank order.
  • Surface swabs. Swabs could be analysed by direct microscopic examination (DME) or culturing. A DME report for these samples is similar to that of bulk samples. A culture report includes a list of the recovered molds identified to species level and concentration of these molds if the analysis involved quantification.
  • Tape-lift samples. Tape samples are usually analysed by DME but could also be analysed by culturing. The report produced here is similar to that of DME for bulk samples.
  • Dust samples. From carpet, upholstery, mattress, soils and other sediments. These samples are suitable for either culturing without quantification (Direct Plating) or with quantification. They may also be analysed by DME. A report for culturing for quantification lists the recovered molds and their concentration as CFU per gram of dust or per unit area.
  • Sewage and sludge. Suitable for analyses by culturing. Could also be analysed by DME. Reports produced for these samples are similar to those of other samples.

MBL’s mold and bacteria testing services are conducted by a team of highly trained microbiologists. If you have any questions about the services offered, please contact us by phone or the form below.

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