Indoor air quality testing is not appropriate when assessing for mold in our schools. The Mold Task Force came to this determination after extensive research and discussion with experts in the field. Why did we come to this conclusion?
- Mold growth occurs from unacceptable levels of moisture either from water intrusion or insufficient air exchange systems. The first line of defense is therefore visible inspections for mold, water intrusion and efficiencies of air handling systems.
- Air testing only provides a 10-15 minute snapshot of the air quality in an area. Mold spore counts fluctuate dramatically, which means relying on air testing can lend itself to misleading data
- When visible mold growth is present, air quality test results will add no meaningful information. The recommended course of action will always be to find the water intrusion and remediate.
The Mold Task Force is following best industry practices by incorporating invasive visual inspection by trained hygienists and bulk swab sampling where appropriate. Swab sampling is a useful tool in determining specific types of mold spores which can assist with identifying potential sources of moisture within the building envelope. The Mold Task Force is committed to finding and addressing the underlying water intrusion issues, which renders air quality testing inconsequential.
The following excerpts (the full links are attached) relate directly to the validity of indoor air quality testing for mold
Centers for Disease Control- Link