PARK RIDGE, IL — According to Lighthouse Laboratories, toxic black mold has been associated with serious heath problems and even deaths. In severe cases, the lab claims that some homes could not be remediated and were turned over to the local fire department for training purposes.

Now, a test has been developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is available from Lighthouse Laboratories. The test allows black mold to be detected with a simple dust sample. The sample will yield a quantitative result indicating the level of Stachbotrys chartarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Penicillium aurantiogriseum mold in the property.

The lab believes that the test is beneficial to homeowners, especially those where family members may already be suffering from an unexplained ailment. Also, Lighthouse Laboratories suggests that individuals with a compromised immune system should get their home tested because black mold has been indicated to be of particular danger to these people. Finally, the lab says that the test can be beneficial to anyone who is considering the purchase of a home or condo.

In the past, toxic black mold was detected by having to see the mold, scraping a sample, and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The lab says that if the mold should die in transit, the potential for a false negative reading is likely. With the dust sample and DNA analysis, the homeowner or contractor does not have to see the mold. Also, if the mold is in the air, it will be detected in the household dust.

For more information on the test, call 847-759-4900 or visit (website).

Publication date: 10/28/2002