Early detection and remediation of mold problems is key to minimizing human exposure and extensive building damage. One of the first signs of mold growth is often the presence of damp, musty odors. These odors may occur before any visible mold is present. In addition, it is common for mold to be hidden in inaccessible places such as wall cavities and ceiling plenums.

Mold odors, often characterized as “dirt, mushroom, or musty” result from the release of mold specific chemicals known as microbial volatile organic compounds or “MVOCs”, and research has shown that these chemicals may contribute to adverse human health effects. Last year, Air Quality Sciences Inc., Marietta, Ga., announced a new “Fingerprint Test” for detecting a series of these mold specific VOCs or MVOCs in the air. All air results obtained from schools and commercial environments suspected of having mold contamination have been logged into the National MVOC Databank. Current data trends are summarized below based on all test results:

  • Average Total MVOC concentration is 19,000 ng/m3;

  • 46.2% had 1-Butanol detected at an average concentration of 17,000 ng/m3;

  • 30.8% had 2-Heptanone detected at an average concentration of 1,900 ng/m3;

  • 26.2% had 2-Pentylfuran detected at an average concentration of 1,200 ng/m3;

  • 23.1% had 2-Hexanone detected at an average concentration of 1,200 ng/m3;

  • 15.4% had 2-Methyl-1-propanol detected at an average concentration of 20,000 ng/m3;

  • 7.7% had a-Terpineol detected at an average concentration of 2,800 ng/m3;

  • 6.2% had 3-Methylfuran detected at an average concentration of 1,400 ng/m3;

  • 4.6% had 2-Methylisoborneol detected at an average concentration of 490 ng/m3;

3.1% had 3-Methyl-2-butanol detected at an average concentration of 1,400 ng/m3.

According to AQS, research has shown that MVOCs easily diffuse through materials and barriers that would normally retard mold spores, and this device provides “an excellent opportunity for finding hidden mold at an early stage,” according to AQS.

For more information on the new MVOC “Fingerprint Test” or to order services call 770-933-0638 or e-mail at info@aqs.com.