- Identifies pollen, mold, fibers, insect biodetrites (parts) and skin cells in particle counts per square centimeter (cts/cm2).
- Used to sample a surface for a variety of potential pollutants that may be proliferating or have settled out of the air.
- Do-It-Yourself Quick and Easy testing - no special training required.
- Includes the Bio-Scan 400 Sample Collection Device - same sampling methodology used by IAQ professionals.
- Complete Step-by-Step Instructions with Chain of Custody form.
- Lab analysis of the sample performed by Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab), an American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) accredited Laboratory.
- Lab report includes:
- Toll Free number to call with any questions on your results.
- Breakdown of particle types found, amount and percentage of the total particle count of the sample.
- Color Graphs displaying relative amounts of particle types found and a detailed breakdown of Fungal Elements / Spores and their relationship to normal levels as defined by EDLab based on 10 years of sample data.
- Written explanations of each of the particle types found.
- Healthy Home / Building Considerations sheet with recommendations for actions you can take that may help improve your indoor environment.
- Postage prepaid envelope for mailing your sample to the lab.
- No additional fees - all sampling, analysis and reporting costs included.
- Results in 3-5 days via email or mail after lab receives your sample.
Biological Pollutants - this is a group of contaminants that includes Pollen, Mold, Dust Mites and other insect parts and Skin Cells. These are extremely small living organisms or fragments of living organisms.
Sources - Pollens originate from plants and can be carried into the home from the outside or present in the home from indoor plants. Mold/Fungi/Spores are present in all indoor and outdoor environments. They proliferate when environmental conditions are favorable for their growth such as in a warm area with high moisture levels. Molds develop from spores that establish colonies and can cause stains and may release small amounts of toxic chemicals called Mycotoxins into the air. Excessive levels are most common in bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and areas that have water damage or are constantly damp. Dust Mites and insect fragments can be found in all homes to some degree. Dust Mites live in carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses and pillows and feed off human and animal skin cells (dander). Pet and human skin cells are released by animals and humans regularly and accumulate around the home.
Health Effects - the primary health impact of excessive Biological Pollutants is an allergic or asthmatic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when a substance provokes the formation of antibodies in a person that can lead to reactions on the skin or in the respiratory tract. Substances that cause these allergic reactions are referred to as "Antigens" or "Allergens". Rashes, hay fever, asthma (tightness in the chest with difficulty breathing) and runny noses are common symptoms of allergic reactions. Allergic reactions occur only after repeated exposure to a specific biological allergen. Reducing your exposure to Allergens may help minimize your risk of developing allergies and asthma or reduce their severity and frequency.
Particles - this is a classification of a variety of non-living substances that can include Fibers and Other non classified substances.
Sources - usage of household products and interior building materials that degrade over time are sources of particles and fibers. Interior remodeling will generate substantial particles of a variety of sizes and types. Carpet fibers, rusting equipment, plant fibers, clothing fibers and paper products are several examples. Combustion by-products, such as from poorly vented wood and coal stoves and heating equipment also contributes particulate matter. Particles from outside can also be carried into the home.
Health Effects - particles lower than 10 microns in diameter pose the greatest health risk because they can bypass the natural defenses of the nose and throat and reach the lungs. Inhalation of excessive particulates can lead to respiratory irritation, allergic reactions and aggravation of lung diseases such as bronchitis. Some fibers can cause skin sensitivities when exposed to the skin.
How it Works
The Building Health Check Allergen Screen Test Kit is designed to collect biological and non-biological allergens such as Pollen, Mold, Fibers, Insect Fragments and Skin Cells that settled out of the air onto a surface. This is a Do-It-Yourself test kit that requires no special training. The user performs the test and sends the test sample in a postage prepaid envelope to an accredited Laboratory for analysis. A full scan of the Allergen Screen Test Kit with microscopic techniques provides valuable information both qualitative and quantitative on the collected specimens. Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory, an accredited environmental microbiology laboratory of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), performs the laboratory analysis. Once the analysis is complete, a test report is sent to the customer in 3-5 days and provides levels of the results relative to normal levels. A Healthy Home / Building Considerations sheet is included with recommendations on actions you can take that may help improve your indoor environment if elevated levels of pollutants are found. The Allergen Screen Test Kit kit is ideal for indoor environmental investigation, allergy sufferers, asthma patients, clean room evaluations, etc.
Test Sampling Procedure
Remove plastic case containing Bio-Scan 400 test strip from enclosed envelope and open tamper resistant seal using scissors.
Remove the Bio-Scan 400 test strip from the plastic case. Select a surface area of concern to be tested, such as Tabletop, Wall, Ventilation Supply Vent, Ductwork, Air Handler, etc. for a Bio-Scan 400 surface sample.
Hold the left side of the Bio-Scan 400 and peel the white backing paper to expose the adhesive side of the red grid area.
Important: Do not touch the adhesive side of the red grid.
Gently place the sticky side of the red grid against the surface you wish to test.
Gently reseal the Bio-Scan 400 back onto the white backing paper.
Place the Bio-Scan 400 sample back in the plastic case. Complete the Chain of Custody card, filling out all information in black ink. Be sure to record the sample location and the surface the sample was collected from.
Place the Bio-Scan 400 sample and Chain of Custody card in the EDLab postage prepaid envelope and mail it to the laboratory for analysis.
Chain of Custody Form
An easy to understand lab report is provided that indicates the amount of each found particle and the percentage of the total count. A color graph displays the levels of the various microscopic pollutants found and compares these levels to normal levels as defined by the 10 year study by EDLab. A Healthy Home / Building Considerations sheet is included with suggestions for actions you can take that may help improve your indoor environment. A description of each particle type is included and covers areas such as:
- Opaque Particles
- Pollen Species
- Spores / Fungal Elements
- Other Material
NOTE: This is only a partial representation of the full report.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is controlling Allergens important?
Allergic disease affects one out of six Americans, and costs millions of dollars in medications, physician services and missed days from school and work.
What is an Allergy?
An Allergy is an abnormal reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance called an Allergen. When an Allergen, such as pollen, is absorbed into the body of an Allergic person, that person’s immune system views the Allergen as an invader and a chain reaction is initiated. White blood cells of the immune system produce IgE antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to special cells called mast cells, causing a release of potent chemicals such as histamine. These chemicals cause symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, itching and sneezing.
What are some common Allergens?
People can be allergic to one or several Allergens. The most common include pollens, molds, dust mites, animal dander (dead skin flakes from animals with fur); foods; medications; cockroach droppings and insect stings.
Is there only one type of allergic reaction?
Allergic individuals can exhibit a variety of reactions depending on the Allergen and the way it was absorbed into the body.
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis sometimes called "hay fever" is caused by an allergy to the pollen of trees, grasses, weeds or mold spores.
- Allergic rhinitis is a general term used to apply to anyone who has symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing and a runny nose due to allergies. This may be a seasonal problem as with hay fever, or it may be year-round problem caused by indoor Allergens such as dust mite droppings, animal dander, cockroach droppings or indoor molds/mildew.
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a non-contagious, itchy rash that often occurs on the hands, arms, legs and neck, although it can cover the entire body.
- Contact dermatitis is a reaction affecting areas of the skin which become red, itchy and inflamed after contact with Allergens or irritants such as plants, cosmetics, medications, metals and chemicals.
- Urticaria or hives are red, itchy, swollen areas of the skin that can vary in size and appear anywhere on the body. Approximately 25% of the U.S. population will experience an episode of hives at least once in their lives.
What kind of a doctor is an allergist?
An allergist/clinical immunologist is a Pediatrician or Internist who has undergone 2-3 years of special training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. To understand what you are allergic to, an allergist will take a personalized patient history, including a thorough record of the illness, family history, and home and work (school) environments; perform allergy testing, and possibly perform other laboratory tests.
Identification and avoiding indoor Allergens:
Allergens are substances that trigger the immune system to promote an allergic response. People can react adversely to many things. The main treatment is avoidance of theses substances. Effective evaluation of the indoor Allergen e.g. pollens, Molds, Dust Mites, animal dander (dead skin flakes from animals with fur); cockroach droppings can initiate an effective treatment of the Allergens. Removal can have marked therapeutic effect on building occupants.
Who can I call if I suspect I have an Allergen problem or if I want an in-home evaluation?
You can contact your local MunicipalDepartment of Health, State Health and Human Services Department or Industrial Hygienist from the American Industrial Hygiene Association to find out more about your home, your health and potential options.