microbiology laboratory

Industrial Hygiene Associates

(215)443-0899 FAX

Microbiology Mold & Bacteria Laboratory

AIHA Environmental Microbiology Accredited Laboratory Eagle Industrial Hygiene is an AIHA accredited laboratory for mold and bacteria. Eagle Industrial Hygiene also has certification from the PA State DEP for Drinking Water Testing for Total and Fecal Coliforms.

In addition to Indoor Air Quality Monitoring, Eagle Industrial Hygiene offers microbial analysis. Our microbiology lab analyzes the bacteria and fungi culture plates, surface samples, vacuum samples or bulk samples from IAQ monitoring which includes enumeration and identification of fungi and bacteria isolates. We extend this microbial analytical testing to other IAQ monitoring companies that need this microbial analysis services.

Our laboratory provides both spore and viable culturable analysis.

Turnaround time on analysis is as follows.

Spore analysis standard turnaround time is 2 days.

Viable culturable standard turnaround time is 2 weeks.

Mold plates

Microbial Sample Results Information Sheet

The following information will help you interpret the enclosed microbial sample results. This information is general in nature and can be used to assist you in your IEQ evaluations. For specific information regarding your particular IEQ issues, please seek the advice of competent professionals.

Your submitted bioaerosol and/or wipe samples have been analyzed at Eagle Associates' AIHA EMPAT Proficient Laboratory (#100421). The analysis includes preliminary sample incubation (usually 5 to 10 days), a visual examination and counting or enumerating/speciating for viable fungi and bacteria. All bioaerosol results are reported in colony forming units per cubic meter of air (CFU/m 3). Microbial wipe samples results are reported in colony forming units per square inch of area (CFU/in2).

Microorganisms are a normal and essential component of all environments. Bacteria and fungi are needed to break down complex molecules found in organic matter. If provided with water and a food source, microorganisms will readily develop in almost any area. Microorganisms and/or their reproductive structures are almost always found in outdoor air. Their types and populations will vary depending on local environmental conditions. Doors, windows, and fresh air intakes provide easy access for microorganisms to enter the interiors of buildings. It is normal to find some quantity of microorganisms in indoor air. In a normal indoor environment, their numbers should be significantly less than outdoor levels. Excessive moisture inside a building from leaks, floods, or other sources can create an "out-of-balance" environment that will tend to increase their population. Depending on the amount of water, temperature, lighting, and food available, differing species may become dominant. In consequence, the presence of some microorganisms in large quantities may lead to adverse health effects involving building occupants.

Adverse health effects in affected individuals can include both illnesses and allergic responses. While there are no standards that regulate microbial contaminants, various organizations offer guidance for microbial levels. They are as follows:

Bioaerosals Less than 1000 CFU/m3 of any combined species (OSHA in their Field Technical Manual)
Wipe Samples Less than 100 CFU/in2 ventilation duct interior surfaces (NADCA)
Water Samples Less than 10,000 CFU/mL (OSHA)
Bulk Samples Less than 1,000,000 CFU/g (OSHA)

These guidelines are relevant only for gross numbers of bacteria and fungi. These guidelines should not be used to predict health effects because they do not differentiate between organisms. They are best used to help visualize the potential for problems.

In addition, several other guidelines are used to help interpret microbial data. Indoor results should be less than outdoor results and have the same relative population distributions. There should be no pathogens such as Stachybotris chartarum or Aspergillus fumigatus in the indoor environment, nor should there be molds common on wetted building products.