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A study to evaluate if products used to kill mold or remove mold stains are effective and if using these products effects the accuracy of testing for residual mold using surface samples (tape-lifts).
Author: Daniel Sith, BSE, CMC, CIEC

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    This paper describes an experiment that was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of products sold as mold killers and mold stain removers and if using these products inhibits the effectiveness of using surface samples (tape-lifts) to test for mold. Surface samples (tape-lifts) are routinely used by consultants and mold inspectors to verify the effectiveness of mold remediation projects. Surface samples are used to verify the surfaces are clean and do not contain any actual mold growth. Some of these products may leave an invisible residue that acts like an encapsulation preventing spores from being transferred to the tape. This may lead to the false conclusion that mold is not present when it is.
  A mold contaminated utility closet in a home was used. Products were applied to keep surfaces wet for at least 10 minutes. Surface samples were taken before treatment, six hours after treatment, and twenty-four hours after treatment. Based on an analysis of surface samples collected (tape-lifts), the conclusion is that products alone do not remove all the mold that is present and that the use of products may inhibit the detection of residual mold if tape lift samples are collected. The products appear to encapsulate the surfaces altering the way spores transfer to the tape. Use of some products may make it difficult to use tape lifts as they are traditionally used to test for mold.
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