Understanding Mold Lab Results

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Understanding Lab Results


The final mold interpretation should not be based solely on numbers! Information gathered from a walk-through investigation of the area is very significant, including sources of moisture or high humidity, and signs of visible mold growth.

When evaluating air samples, it is important to consider the type of concentration of fungi indoors, as compared to outdoors or a non-complaint area. One must consider the indoor/outdoor fungal count ratio, the presence or absence of certain fungi indoors versus outdoors, the genus or species of predominant fungi indoors versus outdoors, and whether the fungi detected indoors are allergenic and or toxic.

Due to complexity in interpreting laboratory test results, you should always ask your environmental professional for a detailed explanation.

It is important to note that there are no governmental-issued numerical standards for mold interpretation. However, some environmental companies, industrial hygienists, and other IAQ professionals use the following arbitrary numbers for guidance in interpreting microbial survey results.

Bio-aerosol (Air Samples):
<250 CFU/m3 Low to Normal
250-1,000 CFU/m3 Moderate to Borderline
>1,000 CFU/m3 Active Growth to Sporulation
>5000 CFU/m3 Very Active Growth to Sporulation
Swab Samples:
ND None Detected
<10 Spores Rare
101-100 Lights
>1,000 Heavy

References: EMSL Analytical Inc. (Guidance for interpretation of mold results)

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