Mold Testing Services
Mold Testing -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Lab Analysis - Airborne Mold Tests
The main concern from mold is AIRBORNE exposure. This requires laboratory testing. Airborne mold tests are preferably taken by MTS or others experienced in such testing. However, homeowners and other may sometimes want to rent an airborne mold pump, etc from MTS or others and collect their own samples.

There are a number of types of airborne mold tests. The most common type of test is the TOTAL test. This is also called the non-viable test. The total test uses a calibrated air pump and special collector cassettes (often Air-O-Cell or Allergenco cassettes) to collect an airborne test. This collects both living and dead mold spores. This is the test most often used by consultants and can provide a quick assessment. For this test, no culturing is required and the sample can be immediately sent to a lab and analyzed. Samples are typically analyzed under a light microscope at 600-1000x. These tests identify general groups of molds and may not be able to identify specific mold species. However, in many cases, this level of identification is adequate.

Another type of test is called the VIABLE test. This uses special collector plates and pumps together with various growth media on petri plates to collect airborne tests. These tests are more accurate at identifying specific molds but have many limitations. They often require multiple growth media to test for different types of mold and require about 4-7 days to incubate and grow. They detect only some of the living molds and do not detect many living and dead mold that will not grow on the media chosen. It should be emphasized dead mold can still be an allergen and irritant. Where there are legal or sensitive concerns, it is sometimes preferable to collect both Total and Viable airborne mold tests.

Airborne mold TOTAL tests can be submitted to MTS for analysis by a local lab or AIHA certified lab. Typical turn-around time is 2-3 days after collection. Total samples cost $50/test. Samples should be clearly labeled and appropriate procedures used during collection. A chain of custody (COC) form should be included with the samples. MTS provides a COC form in the Documents section. For an additional fee, interpretation of the data can be provided.