Air Quality Testing

Ventilation systems and passenger cabins of almost every vehicle on the road make a great residence for germs and harmful allergens. You could be putting your health at risk without even knowing it.


Bulk Samples

Sections of vehicle materials, such as plastic, carpet, and insulation, can be collected and analyzed for mold types and concentrations. This type of sample can be useful in determining the need for remediation, or removal, differentiating mold growth from other types of discoloration, comparison of affected versus non-affected materials.

The bulk material is weighed, suspended in a known volume of sterile solution, which is used to inoculate selected culture media. Analysis is performed by microscopic examination. The results are reported in colony forming units per gram of sample.

Dust Samples

Analysis of dust that is deposited on surfaces is collected using a cassette attached to a vacuum pump. Approximately one square foot of a surface is sampled. Settled dust can be used to evaluate the contamination level of porous surfaces and assess crosscontamination from areas of actual growth. Because dust contains spores that accumulate over a period of time, these samples can provide information on mold that was previously airborne in an indoor environment.

Surface Samples

HealthyCar collects both tape lift and wipe samples from surfaces. Tape lift samples are used to differentiate actual growth from settled spores. Wipe samples are cultured so that both the genus and species of mold can be identified.


ERMI is the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index. This test is the “CSI” of the mold industry because it uses a sensitive DNAbased analysis to evaluate the likelihood of a mold problem in a home.

Based on recently published data from EPA researchers, the test has been developed as a tool to evaluate the potential risk of indoor mold growth and associated health effects. The logic behind ERMI testing is that the settled dust contains spores that settle over time and is therefore not a simple snapshot in time. The settled spores are consequential to actual activity and air pathways in a building.

The test involves collecting a composite dust sample from an indoor environment. The sample is analyzed using mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (MSQPCR), a highly specific DNA-based method for quantifying mold species. An algorithm is used to calculate a ratio of water damage-related species, such as Chaetomium and Stachybotrys, to common indoor molds. To equalize the data, the ERMI must be compared to a national database.

ERMI testing is an excellent screening tool because it has the advantage of collecting one or a few samples. Carpet dust acts as a reservoir for mold spores and is more representative of mold levels over time versus short-term air samples. The use of MSQPCR for this test allows for increased precision as it is based on a biochemical assay using calibrated instrumentation.