CONCENTRATION BURSTS of MOLD SPORES - CONTENTS: What are Mold Concentration Bursts and how do they cause Errors in Mold Tests when using Air Sampling? What are the sources of variation in the mold level that air tests can detect?
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Mold concentration bursts impact on airborne mold count results:
Here we explain what Mold Concentration Bursts are and how mold concentration bursts cause Error in Mold Tests when Air Sampling. This document is a brief tutorial which provides information about the accuracy of and sources of errors in tests for the level of allergenic and toxic mold in residential buildings:
spore counts valid? Are mold culture tests and mold swab tests valid? These critical questions are discussed in this article series.
Concentration Bursts of Mold Spores Cause Variation in Indoor or Outdoor Mold Level Counts
ACGIH Bioaerosols: Assessment and Remediation states [section 1.2.3]:
Some organisms and sources release aerosols as 'concentration bursts' which may only rarely be detected by limited grab sampling and may
be masked in measurements of long-term average concentrations.
Nevertheless, such episodic bioaerosol releases may produce significant health effects. -- thanks to S. Flappan for suggesting this citation.
Spores are not always airborne during sampling: Mold spores may not be in interior air at the time of the sample but may be present in high levels at other times. Particle level in air varies very
continuously as a function of temperature, humidity, size, mechanical disturbance, HVAC operation, use of fans and vacuum cleaners, and other factors
as simple as foot traffic through a building.
Concentration bursts of mold spores: An example of a concentration burst of Aspergillus sp. spores occurred during our inspection and
monitoring of a college library with many moldy books in its basement. Initially, though there was a large area of
visible green mold (Aspergillus sp.) on many books on shelves in the library basement, while conditions there
were still quite damp (humidity 65-75% RH) the airborne Aspergillus sp. spore levels were rather low.
But when the college brought in an "expert" who installed commercial dehumidifiers (without cleaning or removing
the mold) the airborne Aspergillus sp. skyrocketed. As the humidity dropped the fungus responded by releasing spores.
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Thanks to Susan Flappan, Flappan Consulting, moldetect.com, Overland Park KS, 913-402-1131, for contributing comments and some suggested text from ACGIH Bioaerosols: Assessment and Remediation 12/2006.
Kansas State University, department of plant pathology, extension plant pathology web page on wheat rust fungus: see http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/path-ext/factSheets/Wheat/Wheat%20Leaf%20Rust.asp
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home",
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
US EPA - Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [Copy on file at /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
US EPA - Una Breva Guia a Moho - Hongo [Copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Moho_Guia_sp.pdf - en Espanol
Atlas of Clinical Fungi, 2nd Ed., GS deHoog, J Guarro, J Gene, & MJ Figueras, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, 2000, ISBN 90-70351-43-9 (you can buy this book at Amazon) - The Atlas of Clinical Fungi is also available on CD ROM
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home", U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
"Disease Prevention in Home Vegetable Gardens,"
Department of Plant Microbiology and Pathology,
Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri Extension - extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6202
Fifth Kingdom, Bryce Kendrick, ISBN13: 9781585100224, is available from the InspectAPedia online bookstore - we recommend the CD-ROM version of this book. This 3rd/edition is a compact but comprehensive encyclopedia of all things mycological. Every aspect of the fungi, from aflatoxin to zppspores, with an accessible blend of verve and wit. The 24 chapters are filled with up-to-date information of classification, yeast, lichens, spore dispersal, allergies, ecology, genetics, plant pathology, predatory fungi, biological control, mutualistic symbioses with animals and plants, fungi as food, food spoilage and mycotoxins.
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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