Back in 2005, after having sinus surgery and dealing with mold allergies and migraines, I got a mold testing kit through National Allergy Supply. Their mold-test kits at that time came from Nelco Laboratories. You paid, they sent you petri dishes with agar which you exposed for a particular amount of time, then sent back. They cultured and assessed the dishes and emailed you a report with photos of your cultures. It all seemed very scientific and reliable and stuff.
Well, I’d like to do this again in our present house, but I have doubts now. Consumer Reports tested kits like this in 2006 and basically said they’re a crock. They didn’t test Nelco specifically, but did three other labs, and all seemed to be contaminated (unexposed control dishes grew plenty of mold).
Does anyone know anything about this? Are there any reliable home test kits for mold? Is a home kit simply a poor choice? What are the alternatives?
Note I’m not worried about “toxic” mold, just the garden-variety allergenic stuff like Cladosporium, Alternaria, etc. After three rounds of allergy (desenitization) shots in my life, molds are the only category of allergen that still gives me real trouble. (Dusts, most pollens, danders, and especially down are no longer problems. Yay, allergy shots!)