Dust Analysis – Mold Testing
A dust analysis is a useful sampling method in order to determine the genus and species of viable (living) mold spores that are present in the settled dust that is indoors. Dust is usually collected from the carpet with a device that is attached to a specialized vacuum. A laboratory analysis of settled dust can give insight into the history of toxic mold spores and allergenic mold spores that were present in the indoor air in the past, since airborne mold spores tend to settle to the ground and into carpets over time.
A dust analysis is only collected in conjunction with spore trap air sample, so that we can gather information in regard to the mold spore flora that was in the home in the past (dust sample) and present (spore trap air sample). A spore trap air sample will provide information in regard to what type of mold spores are in the air at the specific time the air sample is collected. The types and concentrations of airborne mold spores can change from hour to hour and changes in the types of mold spores and concentration of mold spore types, that are present in the air, can be rapid and substantial. This is another reason that a dust analysis can be useful since a dust analysis provides a history of mold spores that were present in the past and is not just a “snap-shot” in time of airborne mold spore flora that is provided when an air sample is collected.
Also, it is possible for mold to grow in the carpets of a home and is an additional reason to collect a dust sample from carpets. A dust sample analysis can also provide useful information in regard to if there is or was mold indoors that is known to be a toxic mold or allergenic mold, since we are able to determine both the genus and species of mold spores collected from the dust in the carpets.
The mold spores that are collected in the dust analysis must germinate in an incubation chamber so that a mature mold colony will grow for the purpose of identifying both genus and species of mold growth present. A dust analysis sample takes approximately two weeks to process in the laboratory.