Mold consultants are scientific professionals who diagnose air quality
problems in buildings. Often, these people are trained as microbiologists
and mycologists. Technicians are also employed to carry out the testing.
Micro-organisms called mold are everywhere. Some are perfectly safe, or
even helpful. One such example is penicillin, the breakthrough antibiotic
derived from mold. But other molds found in buildings can produce dangerous
Molds grow on moist surfaces such as in bathrooms and on windows. They
get into ventilation ducts, ceilings and drywall. These micro-organisms take
many shapes. They can be furry, display black or green stains, or have orange
or brown specks.
When molds appear, they send clouds of spores into the air. Mycotoxins
on the spores can cause infections, allergies, asthma and other health problems.
So how does a mold consultant find out if a building is contaminated? First,
a visual inspection is done. Boroscopes are used to view spaces in ducts and
behind walls, and moisture meters are also employed.
Bulk and surface samples are collected and looked at in mycology labs to
determine the type of mold in the building. Air monitoring is also done in
buildings if a mold growth is suspected but can't be found by other methods.
Mold consultants can work for environmental companies or restoration and
renovation companies. They can also work as private consultants. Mold specialists
can also be employed in labs or at universities.
Mold specialists usually work regular business hours. However, some people
may wish to work on weekends as a convenience for customers.
Most mold consultants need to be able to travel to different building sites
and use different detection technology. However, some microbiologists and
mycologists can specialize in lab work, which requires fewer physical abilities.