Relationship Between Ambient Airborne Fungal Levels and Meteorological Data

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Total Spore Trap Sampling Method

The spore trap method is used due to the ability to immediately identify a large spectrum of the majority of fungal spores within the air. This method is able to identify species that are unable to culture well or those that are no longer viable, but present. Alternatively within the industry there is not a consensus on the method. Downfalls include the difficulty of identifying some mold spores and there is no differentiation between non-viable and viable spores. For example, the lab analysis of Penicillium and Aspergillus is reported together due to the inability to differentiate between the two, therefore are categorized as Penicillium/Aspergillus types (Clean Air Labs, 2007). This would be an issue if trying to model either through use of the spore trap method. The spore trap method also lacks to ability to determine mold spore viability, which could be useful in determining which mold spores are able to grow when placed in the right environment (Emlab, 2011). Overall the method is questionable for industry when used alone as a method to classify and determine indoor mold problems. For the purposes of creating models based on meteorological data, those issues seem to be irrelevant if the appropriate fungus is selected for comparison.

Sampling Technique

Total Spore Trap sampling occurs through use of air pump with cassette. The air is pulled through the cassette and trapped on a slide, which is analyzed by a laboratory. The lab with read a count the total number of fungal spores in a small area and multiplied to determine a total spore count. This process is very quick and cost effective, but can only be used as a guide, with all reported numbers representing an estimation of the total sp...

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