We would be happy to use this blog for answering questions on indoor mould and bacteria. If you have a question that you want answered regarding mold or bacteria please send it to us at http://www.moldbacteriaconsulting.com/about/ask-mbl. If we don’t have the answers, we will research them for you.
Recently one of our website visitors wanted to know the difference between moulds and bacteria.
Moulds and bacteria are very different organisms. They are genetically unrelated. Moulds are larger, complex and grow as long, multi‑celled filaments (hyphae). Those filaments can aggregate to form larger masses (referred to as mycelia) visible to unaided eye. That is why we can see mould growth, for example, on a wall surface. Bacteria are smaller, single-celled and less complex. Requirements for growth and the means of reproduction for moulds and bacteria differ in many aspects.
Do you have a mould problem? Call (905)290-9101.
Some moulds and bacteria when found growing in indoor environment are indicative of the level of dampness in the building or potential health hazards.
Indicators of severe moisture damage in a building
Aspergillus fumigatus, Trichoderma spp, Exophiala, Stachybotrys spp, Phialophora spp, Fusarium spp, Ulocladium spp, yeasts such as Rhodotorula, Actinomycetes and Gram-negative bacteria and Phoma spp.
Indicators of moderate damp building environment
Aspergillus versicolor, Aspergillus sydowii, Emericella nidulans, and Cladosporium spp
Indicators of relatively dry building environment
Aspergillus versicolor, Eurotium spp, Wallemia sebi, Penicillium spp such as Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium aurantiogriseum.
Do you have a mould question? Contact Jackson at (905)290-9101
Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories (MBL) Inc. provides laboratory mould testing and identification. We also provide testing for environmental bacteria. Mould testing services include analysis of non-viable air samples (Air-O-Cell, Micro 5, cyclex D, LARO-100, pcm cassettes), viable air samples (RCS, Andersen, etc), direct microscopic and culture analyses of bulk samples (drywall, wallpaper, pieces of carpets, insulation material, dust, wood and other matrices), lift tape and swab or wipe samples. We also assist industrial and occupational hygienists, certified mould inspectors, environmental engineers and other consultants in troubleshooting mould and bacteria problems in industrial, hospitals, offices and residential buildings.
Turnaround time for all culture analyses is 10-14 days. Non-culture analyses takes 2-5 days for regular service and 24 hours for rush service. Please call if you need sampling information or a list of our prices. Download our Chain of Custody (Analysis Request Form.
- Certified Mould Remediators (CMR) and Certified Mould Inspectors (CMI)
- Environmental engineering and construction firms
- Industrial and occupational health consulting firms
- Building demolition/restoration contractors
- Homeowners and commercial building managers
- Hospitals/health care facilities, schools, banks, libraries, museums
- Insurance, real estate and legal professionals involved in mould and bacteria issues
- Home inspectors.
- Air Samples
Culture (viable) analysis. This includes enumeration of the colony forming units (CFU) and identification of moulds to genus or species. Samples may include RCS, Andersen, LARO-100, or any other media suitable for culture analysis. The report includes a list of recovered moulds and their concentration as colony forming units (CFU), a statistical comparisons of samples where possible and information on the recovered moulds where available.
- Non-viable (total spore count) Analysis. Samples include Air-O-Cell, VersaTrap Cassette, VersaTrap Sampling Cassettes, SKC BioStage, SKC BioCassette, Micro 5, Cyclex D, LARO-100, PCM and other cassettes. This analysis involve spore counting and identification of different categories of mould spores. The report includes spore counts for each category of spores and the grand total spore count for all spores per cubic meter of air. Wherever possible spore counts and categories of spores for all the samples are compared.
- Bulk samples (e.g., drywall material, wallpaper, pieces of carpet, etc). Bulk samples could be analysed by either DME or culturing. A report for DME analysis gives a listing of the observed moulds in rank order. Information of the recovered moulds is also given. Culturing involve identification of recovered moulds to species and listing them in rank order.
- Surface swabs. Swabs could be analysed by direct microscopic examination (DME) or culturing. A DME report for these samples is similar to that of bulk samples. A culture report includes a list of the recovered moulds identified to species level and concentration of these moulds if the analysis involved quantification.
- Lift Tape samples. Tape samples are usually analysed by DME but could also be analysed by culturing. The report produced here is similar to that of DME for bulk samples.
- Dusts (from carpet, upholstery, mattress etc.), Soils and other sediments. These samples are suitable for either culturing without quantification (Direct Plating) or with quantification. They may also be analysed by DME. A report for culturing for quantification lists the recovered moulds and their concentration as CFU per gram of dust or per unit area.
- Sewage and sludge. Suitable for analyses by culturing. Could also be analysed by DME. Reports produced for these samples are similar to those of other samples.
The samples discussed above except for lift tape and non-viable air samples could all be analysed for culturable bacteria. Since virtually every sample has some form of bacteria, it is important to have a clear objective for bacteria analysis. Also, some samples are not suitable for bacteria analysis or for some categories of bacteria. MBL analyses samples for the following bacteria:
- Gram Staining and Enumeration of Culturable Bacteria
- Total Coliform / E. coli (Presence/Absence)
- Total Coliform / E. coli (MPN)
- Total Coliform (membrane filter)
- Fecal Coliform (membrane filter)
- Standard Heterotrophic Plate Count
- Legionella Detection.
We are happy to offer assistance to industrial and occupational hygienists, certified mould inspectors, environmental engineers and other consultants in designing sampling strategies and also determining the most suitable types of samples to take for a given investigation. We also assist field consultants in troubleshooting mould and bacteria problems in industrial, hospitals, offices and residential buildings.
Proliferation of indoor mould and bacteria in dwelling places could lead to ill-health of the occupants. Indoor microbial growth and dampness has been associated with a number of respiratory problems including:
- Respiratory symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
- Respiratory infections such as aspergillosis.
- Allergic diseases, including allergic asthma and bronchitis.
- Non-inflammatory, unspecific symptoms, e.g., eye and skin irritation, fatigue, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
The best way to control microbial growth in a building is to ensure the building is well maintained and any water leaks are repaired promptly.
Once mould has grown in a building, the solution to the problem is to have the water source identified and repaired and the mould removed. This can be expensive especially if the work is to be performed by professionals.
To avoid expensive mould investigation and removal, the homeowners and property managers should:
- Continuously monitor for any water leaks and have them repaired promptly.
- Continuously monitor for mould growth so as to detect it before it spreads.
Do you have a mould question? Send it to My Question.