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The MoldRANGE™ Culturable Fungi Air (CFA) Report
A Helpful Tool for Mold Data Interpretation
What Does MoldRANGE™ CFA Do?
MoldRANGE™ CFA helps in many of your important tasks such as:
- Avoid unnecessary additional remediation
- Calm clients who are in a panic over 100 spores/m3 of Cladosporium colonies
- Interpret data when outdoor samples had to be taken in bad weather or with snow cover
In the situations above, the MoldRANGE™ CFA report provides documentation that can help
you communicate with your client by providing them with a better understanding of typical
outdoor spore levels. Better documentation and improved understanding can help your client
make more informed decisions based upon the best scientific data available.
Sometimes you can calm a client who is panicking about finding Cladosporium indoors
when you provide unbiased third-party data showing that Cladosporium is typically
present in outdoor samples from your area in quantities of hundreds or thousands of colony
forming units (cfu) per cubic meter compared to low levels inside. In some cases, this
little bit of extra documentation can help them, and you, avoid mistakes such unnecessary re-cleaning.
What Is MoldRANGE™ Culturable Fungi Air (CFA)?
MoldRANGE™ CFA is a compilation of data from thousands of outside air samples. You get
statistical information about the types and amounts of fungi that are typically present
in the outside air based on time of year and region of the country. It also makes
it easy communicate this data to your clients.
Can MoldRANGE™ CFA Replace My Normal Outdoor Air Sample?
MoldRANGE™ CFA is intended to be another useful piece of the puzzle. It was not
designed to replace normal outside control(s). Weather, local vegetation and activity
levels, and many other factors affect the fungal flora. Consequently, no database could
replace actual samples from the project site.
How Do I Read The Report?
The report shows the data from the actual outside sample(s) taken for the project.
The next two sections are 'Typical Outdoor Data by Date' and 'Typical Outdoor Data
by Location.' The last column in each section is the frequency of occurrence. The
other five columns, labeled "very low", "low", "medium",
"high", and "very high" represent the 10, 20, 50, 80, and 90
percentile values of the fungal type when it is detected.
Outdoor Spore Levels and MoldRANGE™ CFA
As you know, outdoor mold spore counts may vary widely over relatively short time spans.
Consequently, judging whether or not an indoor environment has significantly lower spore
counts than outdoors can be a difficult challenge. This is true even if two outdoor samples
have been taken, one at 8AM and another at 4PM, since the fungal types and concentrations
recovered on these two samples may be very different. Other sampling factors may also affect
your outdoor sample results, and unless you can take many outdoor samples on each sampling
day, you have only limited information on actual outdoor fungal concentrations.
MoldRANGE™ CFA is designed to provide additional information to aid in interpreting limited
outdoor sampling data. MoldRANGE™ CFA takes advantage of the tens of thousands of data points that
we have collected from outdoor culturable air samples. All of these samples have been analyzed by
our experts all of whom have college degrees in biology and have gone through intensive training,
have passed statistical quality assurance programs, and pass ongoing statistical quality control
tests. These data points have been collected throughout the year and in many different geographic
MoldRANGE™ CFA references the data from your outdoor sample by taxon in the first column. The next
two sections are summaries of our data that is most relevant for your sample. The first section is
typical outdoor data by date, and the data you receive will be for the month of your sample, taken
from all states. The second section lists the data summary for your state, taken across all months.
The data summaries include the 10 (very low), 20 (low), 50 (med), 80 (high) and 90 (very high)
percentile values when recovered, and the frequency of recovery for the spore type. For example,
if the frequency of occurrence is 80% and the low value is 24, it would mean that the given colony
type is detected 80% of the time and, when detected, 20% of the time it is present in levels above
the detection limit and below 24 cfu/m3.
MoldRANGE™ CFA is not a substitute for on-site outdoor samples or for your expert observations of
the site. Instead, it provides additional information about typical outdoor fungal concentrations,
and allows you to make more informed judgments about what your data means.
Examples of How You Might Use MoldRANGE™ CFA:
You have spent a long day sampling in a large building, but have not been able to collect
outdoor samples due to the weather (below zero with high winds). Indoor spore counts are
in the 200-300 range, with Cladosporium as the dominant type. One interpretation
of this kind of result is that Cladosporium is growing in the building. However,
you have done your usual intensive inspection and haven't found any potential fungal
reservoirs. MoldRANGE™ CFA will tell you that outdoor Cladosporium levels in your
area average 1100/m3 throughout the year. This means that for a good part of
the year, Cladosporium levels are much higher than your indoor levels, and present
the possibility that the indoor colony forming units you have found have entered during
other seasons and have become re-aerosolized from settled dust. Thus, combining your own
expertise with our database allows you to formulate broader and probably more accurate
interpretations of your observational and sampling data.
You have recovered 200 Penicillium cfu/m3 in your outdoor sample near
a home in which Penicillium levels are in excess of 500/m3. While 500
Penicillium counts would normally be considered high, you wonder whether or not
the single outdoor sample result constitutes a reasonable estimate of the outdoor
environment. MoldRANGE™ CFA tells you that, in fact, the 200 is in the upper range of
Penicillium concentrations in your area, and that levels above that would be
unusual. Thus, you can more confidently say that the colony counts collected indoors
are likely to be from indoor sources. On the other hand, if 200 were in the low part
of the Pen/Asp range for outdoors, you might seriously consider that the indoor
spores were remnants from an outdoor aerosol event that occurred before or after you
collected your outdoor sample. This could be especially true if, for example, the home
has a citrus tree nearby, since fallen fruit usually support large Penicillium populations.
How do I sign up to receive MoldRANGE™ with my reports?
If you are a current client, please contact your project manager
to generate this report for any specific set of data you'd like, or to set up your
reporting preferences to automatically receive this report.