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Thread: ERMI Testing

  1. #1
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    Default ERMI Testing

    Was at San Diego for the ASHI conference and saw several labsa offering this EPA developed mold testing. Is anyone using it? Since its standards based and the reports are in plain language it looks like it might be good to offer. 2) you don't have to buy anything more than a small vacuum.

    I did read what Caoimhín P. Connell wrote and believe that some standard for mold testing is better than no standards at all.

    Thoughts???

    //Rick

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    Last edited by Rick Bunzel; 02-09-2016 at 04:10 PM.
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    Rick Bunzel
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I did read what Caoimhín P. Connell wrote and believe that some standard for mold testing is better than no standards at all.

    Thoughts???
    Rick,

    The standard I used back when, and the standard many still use today is ... there is no real reason for an HI to do mold testing ... pretty simple standard to follow.

    DDMG, member
    (Don't Do Mold Group)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Rick,

    The standard I used back when, and the standard many still use today is ... there is no real reason for an HI to do mold testing ... pretty simple standard to follow.

    DDMG, member
    (Don't Do Mold Group)
    I must agree with my fellow Charter Member of DDMG!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    EPA developed mold testing? Do some research into this, the EPA/HUD advises against mold testing in most cases. If you see mold or smell mold, you have mold and knowing the level or specific type does not help the home owner.
    If you have mold, you have an underlying cause, moisture. Deal with the cause, not the fruit.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    Jerry and Scott,

    I used to have the same opinion and we have completed hundreds of "water intrusion inspections" in lieu of mold tests. I live in the Pacific NW where our conditions are conducive to mold issues. Since ERMI testing is based on a standard developed by the EPA and the house gets a report card, I think this is something my clients can use if they want "extra piece of mind". I won't have to force this on my clients they are already asking for it. We still have "mold is gold" companies around here that can convince naive clients that they have black mold or stachy growing in the their crawlspace and it require remediation for $$$$.

    Take a look at this:

    http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/...nts/ermi_0.pdf

    http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/NHHC...t_Research.pdf

    http://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_fi...load_id=520752


    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    Those are not EPA mold testing standards, which is what you referred to them as being (actually, you referred to the labs as referring to EPA mold testing standards).

    I looked at the links on my phone (which is what I am using) and will comment on them after I look at them better on my computer ... but none appear to be mold testing standards.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    Rick,

    Mixing apples and oranges.

    Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI)

    From the first link:
    - The MSQPCR method of mold analysis and the ERMI scale for estimating mold contamination have been developed for use in research studies related to mold exposure and health impacts.2 These tools have been peer reviewed for research purposes, but they have not been validated for non-research purposes.

    and

    - The World Health Organization’s 2009 WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould (www.euro.who) recommends that mold exposures be minimized.

    Not a standard for mold testing, for research purposes.

    A moisture and "dampness" condition is what creates the mould issues for children and asthma.

    Are we to presume that solving all the moisture and dampness problems and issues will eliminate asthma in children? No.

    We get back to 'it is a moisture' problem, or, as the World Health Organization puts it "Dampness".

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    From the second link:
    - The higher the ERMI value the greater is the likelihood of a moisture and mold problem.

    Again, a moisture problem.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    From the last link:
    - A more271 consistent time interval or seasonal pattern between samples may have provided additional272 insights, but scheduling to reenter a home was often difficult and some children moved during273 the study period. In spite of these limitations, the results have improved our understanding of the274 applicability of the ERMI metric for assessing residential mold exposure in this air pollution275 exposure and health study of asthmatic children in Detroit.

    Not a mold testing standard, at best it might be a 'mold likeliness', 'mold suitability', or 'mold susceptibility' protocol for further research.

    Me thinks those 'labs' are overreaching to far that they are risking falling head over heels in their attempt to justify 'mold' or 'mould' testing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist

    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home
    Mould Testing: Is it beneficial or 'snake oil?'

    The definitive source in my opinion.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: ERMI Testing

    So far I haven't seen anything that makes me think that the ERMI has a significant value. It does however sounds good when some marketing department is the source of information. As Harriet Burge says, use it only if you plan to do nothing about the info gathered.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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