Mold Testing


The words “mold” or “mildew” are lay terms for fungus. In biology, Fungi is its own Kingdom much like the Plant Kingdom, but it is not a plant. Fungus usually starts to develop after three days on most any organic material when wet. Moisture and organic material must be present to create an environment for fungus growth to occur.

Only by creating the proper environment will mold grow. Three major components are required in order for mold to be able develop: There must be a combination of organic material as a food source, water or moisture, and three days or more (72hrs).

This means fungi can grow in the forest, on organic building materials, and even on people. Therefore, as long as the right environmental conditions are maintained, mold can develop. “Athletes’ Foot” is an example of maintaining the right conditions for the development of the fungus.

There are approximately 75 thousand different types of mold. Each is unique as to what conditions each is able to thrive in. For example, Chaetomium is an allergen type of mold commonly found on solid dense wood such as a 2×4’s used in building construction framing. Where Stachybotrys is a toxic type of mold most commonly found on the paper backing of sheetrock rather than on dense soil wood framing. Both appear black in color, but can only be identified with microscopic analyses.

We can now find the answers to many common questions people have. For example, a person cannot spill a cup of water on the carpet and grow mold. For two reasons – the carpet would have to be wet for longer than three days; but the main reason is most all carpets are made from synthetic fibers and therefore not organic, which is the food source for mold.

In addition, mold cannot spread without moisture. In other words, mold cannot take over someone’s entire house unless the entire house is wet and remains wet longer than three days. Mold cannot grow when the area is dry. Mold that may have developed will go dormant once conditions are dry. Meaning any mold that may have developed during the wet conditions will not go away, but it’s growth will cease.
Toxic mold is fungus that has the potential to produce chemical compounds that can be harmful to our bodies. This information is not new, for thousands of years people have been taught not to eat mushrooms from the woods if not identified to be safe. The word “mushroom” is a lay term for Basidiomycetes fungi. The mushroom is denoted as the fruiting body of the fungus. Spores, much like the seeds, develop underneath the mushroom.

Mold spores can go airborne causing mold exposure. If mold spores are inhaled these toxins released inside the lungs, but are too difficult to identify in the bloodstream. However, if toxic spores get lodged in the lung, they have the potential to pass their toxins into the bloodstream. In extreme cases, causing pulmonary hemosiderosis (hemorrhage) of the lung, causing death. Other molds have the potential to grow in the lung causing “mycosis of the lung”. Aspergillosis is an illness of “mycosis of the lung” caused by Aspergillus spores. However, more common illnesses have flu-like symptoms; such as, headaches, sore throat, nausea, and/or fatigue. People with compromised immune systems, elderly, or people that may be sensitive can be affected.

AdamLabs will help identify potential mold hazards. This is done by conducting a field inspection where surface samples and/or air quality samples can be collected for possible exposure to airborne mold spores. Setting up air monitors in the area of concern in order to collect air samples of the environment. Samples are then processed via White Light Microscopy.

AdamLabs does not conduct any cleaning or removal of mold. AdamLabs specializes in providing consultation in developing a mold remediation plan and recommendation. Adam Jahnsen has been involved in mold investigations since 1995, and is a Certified Microbial Consultant (CMC) by the American Council for Accreditation (ACC) in his practice.

For your convenience, the following is an interpretative guideline provided for your use as well as definitions of some of the fungus spores (genus) found in the interior of the structure. This information is available from public domain sources and is furnished as a courtesy. Note that the information is provided for the genus level of fungi and that great variation exists among species within a given genus.  This information should not be considered comprehensive for any particular type of fungi. Qualified health professionals should be consulted for related health effects.




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