Mold sampling: carpets


Collect dust by vacuuming 2 square meters in the living room and 2 in a bedroom, adjacent to the sofa or bed, for 5 minutes each.  Use a sampler like the Mitest or the DustChek.  Report results using the EPA Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI).


  1. Remove the top and bottom caps. Check for the collection filter.
  2. Insert the vacuum hose into the wide end of the cassette.
  3. Start the vacuum and a stopwatch, and begin sampling in one corner of the sampling area with the narrow, oval-shaped end of the sampler.
  4. Tilt the sampler to one side to allow a slight gap above the surface.
  5. Sweep the area slowly from one end to the other using overlapping passes, until the entire area is covered in 5 minutes.
  6. Tilt the cassette nozzle upward, then turn off the vacuum.
  7. Remove the sampler from the hose and visually inspect it to verify it contains enough sample (at least a teaspoon, half full, 30 – 100 mg).
  8. Replace the caps onto the cassette ends and place it into a zip bag.
  9. Label the sample number and location.

Adapted from EMLab P&K, originally:  Vesper S, McKinstry C, Haugland R, Wymer L, Bradham K, Ashley P, Cox D, Dealt G, Friedman W. Development of an Environmental Relative Moldiness Index for US Homes. J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Aug;49(8):829-833.