What are the Acceptable Sample Types for Our Environmental Tests?

RealTime Labs is proud to offer three environmental testing options: Mycotoxin testing, mold testing, or a combined test for both known as our EMMA. One of the most common questions we receive about our environmental mycotoxin tests is, “What are the acceptable sample types?” The good news is, we can accept many kinds of samples for our tests. Most importantly, this is an environmental test; that means no human (clinical) samples can be submitted. If you are interested in testing your body for the presence of mycotoxins, we have a Clinical Mycotoxin Test that will test for the presence of 16 of the most toxigenic, aka toxic, mycotoxins. 

Man cleaning air vents

Because inhalation of mycotoxins is a large concern, RTL’s recommendation is that you send us a 3” x 3” sample of an HVAC filter that has been in the unit for at least six weeks. That way, we can test for mycotoxins that are being circulated from several rooms in the unit through the air vents. 

Our environmental test kits come with two sterile swabs and a sterile piece of gauze. Our goal is to provide strategic information such as initial detection and fungal load by using samples collected through swabbing or wiping either visible mold or areas you suspect mold to be growing. This can be used to locate the hub of your mold growth along with the species of molds present. 

You can also use the swabs and gauze to take samples of dust from air conditioner filters, vents, dust on top of shelves, under refrigerators, and areas that are not often cleaned. We do accept Swiffer samples, but it is important to note that Swiffer samples cannot be considered sterile and are difficult to test because of how bulky they are. 

Other sample types that we accept include: 

  • Loose Dust
  • Dry Wall
  • Vacuum Filter (Note: this sample type is not recommended due to the amount of unimportant materials picked up such as pet hair and food)
Dust near a vent

We DO NOT test food, medications/drugs, inaccessible specimens, samples from outdoors (dirt), metals, and samples with paint on them. 

For more information about purchasing your own environmental test, click here. If you have any questions about the sampling process for our environmental mycotoxin tests, please contact our Client Services Department at 972-492-0419 and press Option 2.