January 17, 2020

What is ERMI?

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I’ve heard about ERMI, what is it??

ERMI stands for Environmental Relative Moldiness Index. The analysis from this test can be used by researchers to estimate the levels and types of mold inside a property. The test is done by collecting a dust sample. Since mold spores can settle onto dust, the DNA from the mold in the dust can be identified, thereby providing information on what types of mold are present. However (and this is highlighted in bold lettering on the EPA website), “the ERMI should be used only for research. The ERMI has not been validated for routine public use in homes, schools, or other buildings.” The EPA also recommends that water damage is assessed during the inspection since moisture issues are what cause most mold problems.

For further information, see: Indoor Science ERMI Testing

Should I use ERMI to Identify the presence of mould growth in my property??

According to the EPA – NO! The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index, or ERMI, developed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency researchers, is a research tool and is not recommended for use except as a research tool. It’s intent is not to determine the extent of fungal or microbial growth within a property.

For more information, see EPA’s Office of Research and Development Fact Sheet:
Environmental Relative Moldiness Index fact sheet

In addition, according to the Inspector General from the EPA, “We substantiated the allegation that firms were using the mold index tool although the EPA had not validated the tool for public use. The EPA readily acknowledged that it had not validated or peer reviewed MSQPCR or ERMI for public use. The agency said it considers MSQPCR and ERMI to be research tools not intended for public use.”

This PDF document can be downloaded here:
EPA Inspector General on ERMI