Tape-Lift Fungal Material Collection

Taking a tape-lift sample is one of the main practices used by indoor environmental quality investigators for detecting whether mold structures (for example, spores and hyphae) have either settled onto or colonized the surface. Despite the popularity of the method, there can be significant inconsistency in how tape lifts are collected. A new ASTM International standard, D7910, Practice for the Collection of Fungal Material from Surfaces by Tape Lift, addresses such inconsistencies by describing the correct way to collect a tape-lift sample.

D7910 will help investigators perform more accurate tape-lift samples, according to ASTM member John M. Neville, senior mycologist and technical director, laboratory services, Bureau Veritas North America Inc.

"The practice provides a simple and clear way to collect surface samples that may have mold contamination," says Neville. "A tape lift is one of the main types of surface samples the consultant will collect."

According to Neville, when done properly, tape-lift samples are less expensive, less time-consuming and less labor-intensive to collect and deliver than swab, bulk or dust cassette samples.

"Tape-lift sampling may be a major step in a mold investigation to see if there is a mold problem and a potential building or health concern," says Neville.

In addition to indoor environmental quality investigators, D7910 will be used by house inspectors and certified industrial hygienists. Analytical laboratories will have an easier time performing tests on samples collected in accordance with D7910.

D7910 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D22.08 on Sampling and Analysis of Mold, part of ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality. All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of D22.08. The following are among the proposed standards D22.08 is currently developing:

  • WK22872, Practice for Collection of Total Airborne Fungal Spores Via Inertial Impaction Methodology;
  • WK28565, Practice for Collection of Culturable Airborne Fungi by Inertial Impaction Systems; and
  • WK32489, Practice for Developing and Performing a Sampling Strategy to Collect Meaningful Data During the Assessment of Fungal Growth in Buildings.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Sales (phone: 877-909-ASTM; sales@astm.org).

CONTACT Technical Information: John M. Neville, Ph.D., Bureau Veritas North America Inc. • Novi, Mich. • Phone: 248-344-3042 | ASTM Staff: Jeffrey Adkins • Phone: 610-832-9738 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 5-8 • October Committee Week • New Orleans, La.

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