Identifying Mold from Tape Lift Samples

A new ASTM International standard will help investigators who take samples to test for possible mold on surfaces via a tape lift. The new standard (soon to be published as D7658, Test Method for Examination of Fungal Structures on Tape Lift Samples by Optical Microscopy) was developed by ASTM International’s committee on air quality (D22). 

According to ASTM International member Terri Williams, laboratories can use the new standard to perform fungal identifications from samples taken by tape as part of occupational health and air quality investigations. 

The test method includes how to prepare a sample for observation under direct-light microscopy.  It also outlines the equipment needed and provides step-by-step instructions to perform the analysis. Finally, the standard states what a lab should report to its customer, at a minimum. 

“This method outlines how to prepare, analyze, and report a sample to investigate mold from a surface,” says Williams, a microbiologist at the Wisconsin Occupational Health Laboratory. “It will be helpful to labs to know the base requirements for a quality analysis, including its limitations.”

The subcommittee on sampling and analysis of mold (D22.08) invites anyone to help develop standards. According to Williams, the subcommittee is planning to develop more standards covering microbiology in indoor air quality investigations. 

ASTM Committee D22 on Air Quality Next Meeting: Oct. 8-11, 2017, October Committee Week, New Orleans, La.
Technical Contact: Terri Williams, Wisconsin Occupational Heatlh Laboratory, Madison, Wis., tel +1.608.224.6261  
ASTM Staff Contact: Jeffrey Adkins, tel +1.610.832.9738  

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