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Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
ACCEPTABLE MOLD LEVEL
ACCURACY OF VARIOUS MOLD TEST METHODS
ACCURACY vs PRECISION of MEASUREMENTS
ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT INDOOR MOLD
ACTIVITY of MOLD in BUILDINGS
AGE of MOLD - Old is the Mold?
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR TEST FOR MOLD: ACCURACY
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
AIRBORNE MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ALLERGENS in BUILDINGS, RECOGNIZING
ALLERGY & MOLD IAQ PRODUCTS
ALLERGY TESTS for PEOPLE
ALLERGY TEST ACCURACY
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BASEMENT MOLD WATER IMPACT
BROWN HAIRY BATHROOM MOLD
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BOD WASTEWATER TEST
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION FLAMES
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CACTUS FUNGI / MOLD
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET PADDING ASBESTOS, MOLD, ODORS
CARPET FUNGICIDAL SPRAY
CARPET STAIN DIAGNOSIS
CARPET & other STAIN TESTS
CARPET TEST PROCEDURE
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CHAIN OF CUSTODY - TEST SAMPLE
CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS - MOLD CLEANUP
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
Disinfecting Buildings with Bleach
DO-IT-YOURSELF MOLD CLEANUP WARNINGS
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST ANALYSIS for FIBERGLASS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FEAR of MOLD - MYCOPHOBIA
Fiberboard Insulation Sheathing Mold
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIBERGLASS PARTICLE CONTAMINATION TEST
FIELD INVESTIGATION SERVICE
FIND MOLD, ESSENTIAL STEPS
FIND MOLD in BUILDINGS, HOW TO
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold
FLOORING MATERIALS, Age, Types
FOXING STAINS on books & papers
FUNGICIDAL SPRAY & SEALANT USE GUIDE
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GAS TEST PROCEDURES
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HIDDEN MOLD, HOW TO FIND
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR HAZARDS TABLE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
Legionella Legionnaires' Disease
Legionella BACTERIA & HVAC Equipment
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MICROSCOPE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MILDEW ERRORS - MOLD PHOTOS
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE
MOLD CLEANERS - WHAT TO USE
MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD
MOLD CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS
MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
MOLD CONSULTANTS / INSPECTORS
MOLD CULTURE TEST KIT VALIDITY
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD LEVEL IN AIR, VALIDITY
MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS
MOLD PREVENTION GUIDE
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE
MOLD SAFETY WARNINGS
MOLD SPRAYS, SEALANTS, PAINTS
MOLD TEST KITS
MOLD TESTING METHOD VALIDITY
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
Pesticide Exposure Hazards
PET ALLERGEN REMEDIES
PLASTIC CONTAINERS, TANKS, TYPES
PLASTIC HEATER VENT
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
RENTERS GUIDE TO MOLD & IAQ
ROBIGUS & Wheat Rust Fungus
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
ROT, TIMBER FRAME
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SLIDE PREPARATION, MICROSCOPE
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in BUILDINGS
STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAINS on INDOOR SURFACES: PHOTO GUIDE
STAINS & Thermal Tracking
TECHNICAL & LAB PROCEDURES
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING & THERMAL BRIDGING
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
TRIM, INTERIOR INSTALLATION
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation UFFI
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
WALL FINISHES INTERIOR
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
This article explains MVOCs or mold volatile organic compounds, what makes MVOCs, the meaning of the presence or absence of moldy smells in buildings, and MVOC testing. This article series lists and compares classes of mold, air, gas, test methods used in indoor air quality investigation methodology in searching for possible causes of respiratory illness, asthma, immune system disorders, rashes, skin disease, psychological and neurological disorders, eye infections, or other symptoms which may have a physiological and environmental component.
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If the humidity, temperature, light, and other factors don't cause a particular MVOC-generating mold to release this gas, you're not going to detect it on the day of the inspection and test. Just later. At MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS we discuss the variations in the indoor environment that can turn on or turn off mold smells in a building.
Production of toxins and microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) by fungi in an environmental sample is dependent upon many factors, such as the substrate on which mold is growing, relative humidity and temperature in the moldy environment; the relative importance of each of these factors in toxin production is poorly understood.
But it is clear that the level of MVOCs in a building varies widely from none detected to high, even when the genera/species of mold present include MVOC-producing molds. That is, even an MVOC-producing mold species will not always produce detectable odors and gases.
Indoor and outdoor microbial environments are complex, dynamic and transient in nature, and sampling results will change with time. Viability of bacteria and fungi is influenced by environmental conditions such as relative humidity, available nutrients and temperature. Important microbial ecology factors, such as the presence of competing bacteria, fungi, production of anti fungal and antibacterial metabolites, and insects greatly influence viability.
According to a US EPA Mold and Water Damage Study, Some micro-organisms, including molds, also produce characteristic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or microbial VOCs (mVOCs). Molds also contain substances known as beta glucans; mVOCs and beta glucans might be useful as markers of exposure to molds.
Some molds are capable of producing toxins (sometimes called mycotoxins) under specific environmental conditions, such as competition from other organisms or changes in the moisture or available nutrient supply. Molds capable of producing toxins are popularly known as toxigenic molds; however, use of this term is discouraged because even molds known to produce toxins can grow without producing them (6). Many fungi are capable of toxin production, and different fungi can produce the same toxin.
Readers should also see MOLD ODORS, Musty Smells in Buildings and see MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE. And because mold-related volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are not the only source of VOCs in buildings, readers should also see Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs.
Even if we detect MVOCs, is that the problem mold in the building? If we don't detect MVOC's does that promise there is no problem mold? No.
Our Indoor Gas Sampling Plan for Residential Buildings describes gas testing procedures, instruments, detection limits, and it lists some of the toxic (or other) indoor gases for which we can test, depending on the building complaint and building conditions.
Depending on individual sensitivity and health, indoor air quality complaints about moldy odors or smells or MVOCs range from none to allergic or asthmatic reaction to complaints of disorientation and neurological effects. Please see MYCOTOXIN EFFECTS of MOLD EXPOSURE.
We distinguish between building related complaints - reports from individuals that an illness appears to be related to spending time in a particular building, and scientific controlled-case studies which have documented certain relationships between exposure to various substances (such as mycotoxins) and illnesses in humans or other animals. Anecdotal evidence associating building related illnesses and mold is often compelling even when the medical research data remain incomplete. See MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE and MOLD RELATED ILLNESS SYMPTOMS.
Client Comment on experience with mold-sniffing dog
Mold sniffing dogs are unreliable, even though though they're fun. For details, see INEFFECTIVE MOLD PRODUCTS for an explanation of why mold sniffing dogs make poor mold detectives and why it's not good for them anyway.
There's no doubt that a dog can be trained to smell mold. Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell and can detect very low levels of what they are trained for. What is the dog smelling? MVOCs. But there are a few shortcomings of relying on animals as mold investigators:
MVOCs often remain at low levels even in areas where mold remediation has been carried out; if our little buddy sniffs and points to a wall that has been remediated we're unsure if it's a new problem or a few molecules left from a remediated problem. There are no independent, peer reviewed studies demonstrating that we can relate a mold-dog's sniff-and-point to the completeness of a building survey for problematic mold reservoirs.
Not all molds generate MVOCs, and even molds that do generate MVOC's don't do so all the time. If the humidity, temperature, light, and other factors don't cause a particular MVOC-generating mold to release this gas, you're not going to detect it on the day of the inspection and test. Just later. Even if we detect MVOCs, is that the problem mold in the building?
Beagles & most other dogs are short as dogs go - certainlyh less than 6' 8" tall, and therefore, are not good at sniffing out MVOC's that telltale a mold problem high in a building wall or in a ceiling. Have you ever seen the mold-dog handler swing his/her partner through a loop to make a pass at a ceiling or at the top of a wall?
Beagles are cute, though.
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