Tag Archives: ermi

HERTSMI Testing for Mold (and ERMI)

Dr. Klinghardt and Dr. Shoemaker, 2 well known doctors who are seeing mold patients recommend the HERTSMI-2 test from Mycometrics

The HERTSMI-2 or HERTSMI detects 5 of the indoor toxic molds that grow in varying amounts of moisture. These 5 molds give a realistic educated guess of whether mold is a problem in a home or building.

There is a grading system or a “scorecard” to plug the numbers into and you get a good idea of how moldy a place is compared to other homes and whether or not a building is sick enough to make people sick.

“Only the ERMI and HERTSMI have been associated with sequential activation of innate immune responses, not air testing.” ~Dr. Shoemaker. Meaning it is the only test that he found that is consistently in line with lab results for CIRS, despite its drawbacks.

Buy a new box of unscented swiffer cloths from the drugstore.
This is important as an opened box that may be stored in your house may
be collecting mold toxins while sitting. Take one swiffer cloth from the
middle of the box – just in case the store was moldy – it’s more likely
that the middle cloths are not cross-contaminated.

Inside the building you want to test, use a clean swiffer to collect dust
from as many as ten sites, trying to get dust from the locations most
likely to have collected dust with mold in it.

Old dust may be a better indicator of what you want to find out than new
dust will be, if you are testing somewhere to see if you can live there…
or if someone is getting sick.

Put the swiffer in a ziploc and send that, the chain of custody form, and
$150 to the address on the chain of custody form.

You will receive the result via email five days after they receive it. You
can get faster results by paying extra, and you can overnight the sample
and form to speed up the process. Mycometrics is in New Jersey.

Make sure you check the HERTSMI box!
The HERTSMI costs $150 and can be ordered from Mycometrics.com

When you get the results back by email and/or snail mail plug your numbers in the HERTSMI scorecard:

The HERTSMI “Scorecard”
DOWNLOAD THE SCORECARD HERE

We use a point system. Units are Spore E/mg.
       
10 points are assigned for
Aspergillus penicilloides >500      
Aspergillus versicolor >500
Chaetomium globosum >125
Stachybotrys chartarum >125
Wallemia sebi >2500
6 points are assigned for
Aspergillus penicilloides 100-499
Aspergillus versicolor 100-499
Chaetomium globosum 25-124
Stachybotrys chartarum 25-124
Wallemia sebi 500-2499
4 points are assigned for
Aspergillus penicilloides 10-99
Aspergillus versicolor 10-99
Chaetomium globosum 5-24
Stachybotrys chartarum 5-24
Wallemia sebi 100-499
Interpretation of HERTSMI-2 Score
<11 Statistically safe for re-entry for those with CIRS
11-15 Borderline; clean first and re-test before re-entry
>15 Dangerous for those with CIRS. Do not enter.
Disclaimer:
HERTSMI-2 is a building index. No one HERTSMI-2 can possibly show all areas of a given building.
HERTSMI-2 does not replace careful observation of symptoms and lab results obtained following re-exposure

If you have already done an ERMI and you want to use the HERTSMI scorecard, just pull the values for the 5 molds in the HERTSMI and plug the values into the scorecard above.

The ERMI

If you want a more detailed report that looks for 36 molds instead of just 5 of the most toxic molds… The Environmental Relative Moldiness Index or ERMI has been a highly valuable tool for many practitioners and patients alike in evaluating the potential of ongoing mold exposure in the indoor environment.

It is not uncommon for an air testing sample to return negative results in the same environment where an ERMI is highly positive.

Given that some toxic molds are not readily airborne, air sampling is generally not an effective tool for indoor air quality; thus dust sample testing using the ERMI may be a better option.

Dust is a sampling of the air over a longer period of time… while air testing shows a snap shot in time.

This panel, developed by the United States EPA, includes a total of 36 fungal species/clusters that are broad enough to help address the mold problems of water-damaged indoor environments and to help assess the risk of mold exposure.

The ERMI gives a ratio of indoor and outdoor molds and I will advise you to pull the five molds measured in the HERTSMI-2 and follow the “scorecard” for evaluting both the ERMI and the HERTSMI tests.

The ERMI costs $285-$290 from Mycometrics – you save $5 if you use your own swiffer cloth and ziploc bag as described above for the HERTSMI. The swiffer kit or the vacuum kit can be ordered from Mycometrics.com Some people have gone to other labs for the ERMI testing but I recommend Mycometrics 100%. We have found inconsistent and unreliable results from other labs.

No test is absolute. If even one person is sick in a home or a building, and your HERTSMI comes back low… that person can be reacting to low amounts of mold. I have known people who are still reacting to mold when their HERTSMI is a ZERO! The more immune-compromised we are, the more sensitive we are.

Other things to look into if your HERTSMI is low and you still suspect the environment:

  • Radon
  • VOC’s
  • formaldehyde
  • pet dander
  • microbial fragments
  • Electro-magnetic frequencies
  • smart meters
  • water
  • food

There is a home air test for mold that I talk about on this page — scroll down below the HERTSMI instructions which are basically a repeat of this page!

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Hi Tech Air Reactor – Before and After Testing with Mycometrics – HERTSMI – ERMI

In late July of 2014, I came home from 3 months away and I was not feeling well at all.

I gained 20 pounds in 10 days.

50 pounds in 10 weeks.

I had no energy.

I had a stabbing pain on the right side of my torso, near my rib cage.

I felt like I was being poisoned.  I know that feeling because I lived in sick buildings that have made me sick.  Now, I am sensitive to even small amounts of mold.

So, I did a mold test (ERMI) with a vacuum kit from Mycometrics in August, 2014.

Aspergillus penicilloides 27 10-99 (4pts)
Aspergillus versicolor 27  10-99 (4pts)
Chaetomium globosum 5  5-24 (4pts)
Stachybotrys chartarum 16  5-24 (4pts)
Wallemia sebi 290 100-499 (4pts)

I was sadly disappointed with the results, but not surprised.  See the 16 of Stachybotrys in this test? Stachy is also known as Black Mold and Toxic Mold.  This and if you add up the points on the right, (4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4) adds up to 20 points.

According to Dr. Shoemaker’s HERTSMI Scorecard

Interpretation of HERTSMI-2 Score
<11      Statistically safe for re-entry for those with CIRS**
11-15   Borderline; clean first and re-test before re-entry
>15      Dangerous for those with CIRS**. Do not enter.

**CIRS is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

I was searching for something that could make my house better without going through the remediation we had in 2011-2012.  My husband and I could not stand the thought or the expense of being homeless again.  There had to be a better way.

I found these testimonies on Hi Tech Air Solutions air reactors and I started watching every YouTube video I could find on these machines.

I called the owner, Ray Robison and he seemed very sure his machines could help me.

I started running a Hi Tech 101 in my home on November 19th, 2014.  I felt better that day but a week later, I felt really good.

I was feeling better, so I wasn’t too concerned about follow up testing.  All the testing Hi Tech Air Solutions had done was with air testing… none with dust testing like Mycometrics does.  I had the before testing… so I decided to do the after testing with the same method.

Aspergillus penicilloides 120 100-499 (6pts)
Aspergillus versicolor 6 <10 (0pts)
Chaetomium globosum 2 <5 (0pts)
Stachybotrys chartarum <1 <5(0pts)
Wallemia sebi 69 <100 (0pts)

Most of the numbers went down.  The total score on this HERTSMI is 6 points.

In 3 months of running the Hi Tech 101, our HERTSMI score went from 20 down to 6.

During that time, I had brought in lots of things, people, mail that I used to be careful with.  So the mold count (A.penicillum) that did go up could definitely be explained by cross contamination.

The most important thing?  — I feel great in my home.

The Hi Tech air reactor has changed the way I live. I used to have to be really careful about cross contamination (bring moldy things or people into my home) — I don’t worry about this anymore. I have a whole house air cleaner that is working for me 24/7.

I still get an inflammatory response when I go to sick buildings or the air outside is very polluted. One of my personal goals is to learn how to reduce my body’s reaction to toxins.

While going outside on certain days or going to other buildings that are “sick buildings” can make me sick, I always know I can come home to air that is cleaned with Hi Tech Air Solutions air reactors.

 

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