This ERMI dust testing method or protocol was developed by EPA. This test relies on PCR/DNA analysis to obtain the result.
ERMI Stands For The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index
The objective of the original ERMI dust testing research was to confirm or deny mold as a factor in asthmatic children living in homes in Boston, Kansas City, and San Diego in 2006. The testing candidates were chosen from a HUD’s 2005 American Healthy Homes Survey. Thirty six molds are included in this test. The initial results showed that Aspergillus niger was present at higher levels in children that reported “mild, intermittent asthma”.
The conclusion of the initial study found higher ERMI values were associated with homes of asthmatic children in three widely dispersed cities in the United State.
ERMI dust testing isn’t designed to see if your home has mold. The ERMI dust testing sample is a composite dust sample analyzed using ERMI protocols by a licensed environmental lab. The results are sent to the ERMI database. The ERMI database is supposed to update the ERMI results for all labs with every test. I can’t confirm that actually happens.
Mold air and swab sampling with an onsite inspection is designed to determine if your home or office contains elevated levels of mold spores.
Because there is such a wide variety of collection methods (the people taking the dust sample) the conclusions aren’t accurate. A trainer professional will obtain dust from a wide variety of hidden areas. A person purchasing an online ERMI test kit will sample the first dust found and usually only take dust from one or two locations.