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MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION S
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BIBLIOGAPHY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS in BUILDINGS, MOLD PREVENTION
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSE DUST COMPONENTS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION MOLD TEST
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURES
OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SMELL PATCH TEST to FIND ODOR SOURCE
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
Photographs of mold culture test kit results: this article illustrates common results of mold test kits that use a culture medium, and along with several companion articles listed here, it explains the availability and usefulness of eye-level or low-power magnification photographs of mold growing on mold culture plates, settlement plates, and mold test kits to try to identify indoor mold contamination.
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Mold Photos in Petri Dishes - Not so Useful for Environmental Sampling and Mold Identification - What Level of Magnification is Needed to Identify Mold?
In this article series we discuss the validity of nearly all of the popular mold testing methods currently in use, pointing out the strengths and weakness of each approach to mold sampling in the indoor environment, beginning with air sampling for airborne mold levels indoors.
The use, accuracy, and reliability of mold culture test kits for screening buildings for mold contamination are discussed at MOLD CULTURE TEST KIT VALIDITY and MOLD CULTURE SAMPLING METHOD Also see Mold Culture Plate Test Errors.
Mold Test Kit Culture Plates: Why Can't I Find More Photos of Mold in Petri Dishes?
Reply: Microscopic Examination of Mold is Necessary for Reliable Identification
By Eye Examination of Culture Plates or Petri Dishes to Identify Mold?
The short answer is that you cannot reliably identify what mold is found in a petri dish simply by looking at some photos or color charts. Some mold genera or species might be ruled "out" or "possible" but expert examination of the sample using high-powered microscopy (or another definitive method) is needed.
About what you can do about mold, take a look at MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ? - for help in deciding if your situation honestly merits hiring an expert. Then see MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD. If you are using mold culture plates, because mold test validity and mold test accuracy are often confused, see Cultures to "Test for Mold". Also see MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES for an index of what mold genera/species are frequently found on various building surfaces and materials.
Stereoscopic Microscope Photos of Mold to Identify It?
High Powered Microscopic Identification of Mold Spores
Additional Comments on Mold Culture Identification
Mold cultures involve the collection of particles by air sampling pump, by gravity settlement, or by lift from a surface using a swab or tape. Some sampling equipment (Anderson™ spore traps) can collect spores directly into a petri dish of culture medium, and are used for "viable spore sampling in air."
Mold Culturing is useful for genera speciation once you have collected a single or dominant sample whose importance (frequency in the building) you already know. As a "home test kit" for the presence of problematic mold in a building this is an unreliable method, as we describe below at "shortcomings."
Our lab photo (above left) shows two different mold colonies growing on a culture plate where individual spores settled out of the air onto this surface.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about photographs of mold growth on culture plates
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