The Tale of the Tape Lift Samples
Effectively capturing a sample is crucial when testing an indoor environment for mold. A proposed ASTM standard will meet the need for a method that labs can follow when testing mold samples collected through the tape lift method. WK17177, Test Method for Examination of Fungal Structures on Tape Lift Samples by Optical Microscopy, will provide labs with an approach based on quality and science.
The primary users of the standard will be labs that provide services in the fields of occupational health and indoor air quality testing. The standard will give customers confidence in test performance and will create a basis for comparison of results among laboratories.
Specifically, the proposed standard will help labs create or update their in-house methods for analyzing previously collected tape lift samples from a surface where mold or mold spores might have settled or colonized. The proposed test method includes:
- What equipment is needed;
- How to prepare the sample for observation (under direct light microscopy);
- How to perform the analysis; and
- What the lab should report to a customer.
Subcommittee D22.08 on Sampling and Analysis of Mold, part of ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality, invites all interested parties to contribute to the development of this and other proposed standards. According to ASTM member Terri Williams, an advanced microbiologist at Wisconsin Occupational Health Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, the subcommittee is developing plans to create additional standards related to fungi in indoor air quality investigations.