We offer onsite inspections and sampling of building interiors using the following methods. These inspections are generally performed before remediation or restoration works. We also do post-remediation verification testing (after restoration) but before building reinstatement works. We can also, of course, do periodic site inspections during works if required to guide the remediation efforts.
Our lab also processes samples sent into us by other restorers and occupational hygienists.
If we come to your site, you can expect testing to include:
Our testing is rigorous and follows the ASTM D7391 – 09. Standard Test Method for Categorization and Quantification of Airborne Fungal Structures in an Inertial Impaction Sample by Optical Microscopy. This is the active standard for air sampling and spore counting.
Tape lifts are an excellent method for gaining insight into surface contamination and can reveal hidden issues that are hard to detect visually.
Viable Surface Contact Plates:
Sometimes it's best to work out if something is or is not growing on suspect surfaces. Using swabs can be problematic with non-standard sampling areas, but the use of special Petri plates solves this. These plates are 55mm in diameter and are designed to allow the top surface to be pressed onto any area/region of interest. The plates are then incubated and counts are made and Species identified. This is an appropriate companion method to Tape Lifts.
Viable Air Testing:
Sometimes supplementary information to the spore trap air test is needed. Capturing air to see what will grow on the Petri plate is an easy and informative method showing you exactly what can grow based on the air in different areas of the building.
We do not perform ERMI testing due to the fact that this test is NOT recommended by the US EPA who is the patent holder of the test. See commentary here.
Sometimes all you need is some support with optimizing your environmental cleaning. We can provide advice on sanitization, disinfection, and sterilization solutions.
Molecular Testing - Fungal, Bacterial and Viral Genetic Materials:
Environmental DNA residue in the built environment offers a wealth of opportunity. For example, if someone sneezes, the aerosol contains genetic material. We and others call this environmental or eDNA. The ability to rapidly detect this material with precision allows for sensitive detection in the environment. This could reveal the presence or absence of a target genetic sequence in an environment. The method involves 3 steps: (1) sample collection, (2) DNA or RNA extraction and purification and (3) detection using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) or variants like RT-PCR. The benefits of this approach are strong selectivity for selected microbial or viral sequences which helps with identification. Our lab can perform PCR for the identification and quantification of fungi, bacteria, yeasts and even viruses like SARS-CoV-2 using appropriate primers and amplification protocols.
Peer-Reviewed Papers on These Methods:
JONES, C.L. (2019). Crowd Sourced Taxonomic Identification Guide For Categorization and Quantification Of Fungal Spores By Optical Microscopy. Open Access Journal of Mycology & Mycological Sciences (OAJMMS). 2(1): 000106
JONES, C.L. (2019). Comment on fungal tape lift reporting frameworks. J Bacteriol Mycol Open Access. 7(6): 155-157.
JONES, C.L. (2019). Guidelines For The Assessment of Viable Fungal Hygiene On Indoor Surfaces Using RODAC Petri Plates. J Bacteriol Mycol Open Access. 2019;7(5):116‒126.