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Mold Spore Counting

My wife and I have recently found out that our three year old son has a "significant" mold spore allergy. Our concern however is that our son also suffers from a low platelet count, a condition he has been diagnosed with since his pre term birth. We as a family our destined and committed to make our son's life as comfortable as possible. We are already under the care of our area's leading allergy specialist however my wife and I would truly appreciate understanding this allergy so that we can also incorporate our own intuitions in handling how to minimize our son's suffering.

We are currently seeking information on how the mold counts are actually derived. Our interest is that we would like to understand how a medical entity such as the local hospital where we get our counts from actually counts the mold spores, which mold spores are actually counted and also what generalizations are also incorporated into a medical mold count announcement. We live in a wooded section of our area and hence we suspect that the counts published from the local hospital are representative of the rural area next to the hospital and not necessarily what is true in the urban section where we live.

Are there any methods for us to determine the actual mold counts here at our house?

Thank you in advance for your help !!!

Sincerely Lou L. Jr.

Thanks for asking about mold allergy and mold spore counting.

Patients become sensitized to airborne mold spores by inhalation of the allergenic proteins and carbohydrates present within the spores. This more often than not occurs in an indoor setting as opposed to an outdoor experience. Once sensitized, however, a patient may react whenever the specific mold allergens are encountered as in your wooded area.

Indoor sources of mold include the basement which may be damp and carpeted, the bathrooms and any other region of the home that becomes moist. In general, if you keep your indoor humidity below 40% you are doing your best to reduce indoor molds.

Outdoor air sampling is performed by capturing pollens and mold spores using various devices that either vacuum the air or "sweep" the air. If a sampling station is on a roof of a building, it will gather data and information about the entire region [as opposed to a sampler that is close to the ground which would tell you information about the neighborhood].

Mold spores are identified under a microscope by personnel with experience in the field of aerobiology in our Allergy Clinic.

Air conditioning and carpet removal no doubt have already been discussed with you by your Allergy Specialist. I hope this info is useful to you and your family.

Good luck.

Steve Kagen, M.D.