Investigation of fungal contamination in indoor environments normally includes visual inspection and sampling. The samples to collect, the number, when and where to collect them and the methods to be used for sample analyses depends on the objectives or goal of the investigation. The samples that may be collected include air, dust or bulk samples. Swabs or clear cellophane tape can be used to sample for fungi from contaminated surfaces. The samples can be analyzed by either direct microscopy or by culture methods depending on the type of data required.
Collecting mold and bacteria samples from air is very easy. The first thing to decide is the kind of results you want and for what purpose. This will help you to decide on the sampling equipment and the media to use. For example, if sampling for a specific bacterium or fungus, you would want to use a sampling agar media that is suitable for the growth of the target organism. The efficiency of the air sampling pumps for the collection of the target organism has also to be considered.
Sampling equipment can be expensive. However, for a company that does not collect air samples every other week, renting the equipment is a better option. Sampling media can be obtained directly from the manufacturers or their resale agents. For companies collecting only a few samples in a month, sampling media can be obtained from a good mold testing laboratory.