Our Service Terms & Conditions (T&C) are as follows for mould.net.au and these share all of the key T&C’s as used by our parent Company, Biological Health Services (BHS). A summary of the key T&C’s used by mould.net.au include all of the following but are not limited to:
1. mould.net.au has a policy and procedure for promoting scientific integrity. Scientific integrity refers to maintaining the quality and objectivity of the inspection and analytical tasks involved with indoor air quality and associated microbiological or other investigations. It is important that such results are written up so they are ethical, sound and worthy of the public’s confidence. All reports are therefore premised on a commitment to sound, objective science where findings are objective, credible, unbiased and transparent. Requests to fabricate, falsify or omit information or alter reports or data will not be tolerated and will be immediate grounds for contract termination on the grounds of client misconduct. We will also not abridge findings, conclusions or recommendations into "short summaries" for clients and the formatting of reports is designed to faithfully detail all quantitative data and results and show how they were interpreted.
2. The client agrees to indemnify mould.net.au and keep mould.net.au indemnified against any loss, damage (including special or consequential loss or damage), costs (including legal fees), expenses, demands or liability for any claim by a third party or parties as a result of or arising from the client's use of the BHS report/interim findings/opinions or recommendations/implementation or scope of works other than in accordance with the terms of this agreement.
3. Nothing in this agreement constitutes either party (mould.net.au or client) a partner agent, employee or representative of the other party or creates any trust, association or partnership at law or for any purpose whatsoever nor do the parties intend that their activities under this service terms agreement or other social linkage constitute a business, financial operation or venture.
4. Copyright to written reports remains with the author. Full payment to written material and reports is required before release to client for practical use.
6. Reports are generally delivered approx. 3-4 business weeks after inspection and data/sample collection or sample delivery to our office and the time-frame for report delivery depends on volume of current work and other factors such as the urgency of results and their implications. Your patience is appreciated.
7. In the event that any written report we have already supplied to the client requires formatting modifications for other audiences, then such modifications and additions are charged at an hourly rate (example: Expert Evidence submissions).
8. All samples (swabs, direct samples, air-o-cell, tape-lifts, or any other matter for analysis) is only accepted on delivery at our Head Office (Level 1, 459 Toorak Rd, Toorak, VIC, 3142) address within normal business hours (8:30am-5:30pm Mon-Fri). No samples will be accepted at our lab address, which is a secure P1/2 facility for staff only. A chain of custody form must be completed for all samples accepted at our Head Office. Chain of custody forms will, be supplied electronically on request. All samples must be lawfully obtained.
9. Mail order lab tests (mould.net.au) must be promptly returned within a reasonable time frame expected for environmental microbiology samples that is normally 7-days by the client for analysis after receipt. If the mail order testing services (perishable items/test media) are cancelled after the testing kits have been shipped out or collected, a 50% refund will be applied to the unused kit, minus the shipping and handling fee. All requests for refund must be applied for within 10 days of the initial order. After 10 days, the entire cost of the test is non-refundable.
10. This website or documents arising from our lab inspections or other consulting services for you, the client, may contain general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. It is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. You must not rely on information on this website or in documentation we provide to you as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or arising from documentation or verbal statements we may provide to you.
11. Consumer rights principles are important to us, and in the event that you experience a problem, please contact us to discuss. Unresolved disputes will proceed to mediation as required for resolution.
12. All biological samples will be autoclaved after analysis or disposed of as biological waste or in some cases may be stored permanently as reference cultures or viable and/or non-viable cultures/samples having biotechnological or other intellectual property significance. The client acknowledges that all biological environmental samples from the time of sample acquisition become the property of Biological Health Services and that the client agrees to waive all current and future rights to ownership of any isolated cell lines or biological material components. These isolates are added to the Biobank and may be used for research or other commercial purposes.
13. Social engagement and education (also known as #edtech) is an important component of our customer service efforts. We reserve the right to take photographs, video and audio during any aspect of our work on any jobsite and engage with any persons we may interact with during the course of our work and you acknowledge that we may share these without notification to you on various different social media platforms.
14. This is a full and complete list of our Service Terms & Conditions and the client acknowledges that any printed Service Terms on brochures, flyers, or similar may be an abridged version of this primary list and that you have understood, accepted and agreed to all such terms and conditions.
Australia's Premier Mail Order Environmental Microbiology & Mould Assessment Laboratory
About Our Lab
Excellence in Environmental Microbiology, Mould Assessment & Indoor Air Quality
What We Do
In 2011 we began sending mail order, do it yourself (DIY) mould testing kits using classical microbiology sampled to Petri plates around Australia branded from biologicalhealthservices.com.au. Initially this was to address the fact that many people need a fast YES or NO answer regarding whether a particular room or surface IS or IS NOT mould contaminated but need this validated by a lab without the higher costs of an on site inspection. Settle plates or passive sampling is a common sampling method for measuring airborne contamination. mould.net.au was set up by Dr. Cameron Jones, PhD and his academic and research work with fungi spans over 25 years. His CV is at drcameronjones.com.
Our DIY mould testing kits fill this need by allowing you to do the testing, send it back to our lab, have it analysed by a MSc or PhD level mycologist/microbiologist and prepare a written report. The DIY market across Australasia has grown fast, and we've now developed a dedicated site for this purpose. We've called this Division of the business: mould.net.au since moulds (fungi) grow by repeated branching of their cells called hyphae. This quickly develops into a 'network of filaments' that appears as a colony. In fact, mould.net.au is proud to offer a full range of mail order indoor testing media suitable for moulds, bacteria and yeasts using special, differential Petri Plate media. Also browse through our literature review that validates the use of settle plates for measurement of microbial air quality in a wide range of different environments.
In fact, our method for "home testing" is based on the same environmental monitoring method enshrined in the official ISO 14644-1:2015 Standard for the "classification of air cleanliness in terms of concentration of airborne viable particles". This is also the fundamental method of choice for microbial control and monitoring of aseptic processing cleanrooms which are used for the production of sterile pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The Settle plate method is therefore the most direct way to reliably assess your indoor air quality and against a set of metrics that have been proven over time.
Our kits allow you to test the AIR for viable mould growth and/or test SURFACES by using the sterile swabs we pack into each kit. This way you benefit by getting an answer to the fundamental questions: "Is the air I breathe contaminated?" and/or "Is this surface contaminated - and if so, what with?"
In addition, we will shortly be offering batch and on demand polymerase chain reaction (PCR and qPCR) testing for a range of different bacteria and fungi. All our testing is performed in Australia. Kits for Petri plates can only be purchased and sent via post within Australia (Express Post, Express Post + Signature or Express Post + Signature + Extra Cover up to $400), while genetic testing (PCR and qPCR) is available worldwide.
Why We Do This
Did you know that we humans spend up to 90% of our time indoors? Therefore, Indoor air quality is a fundamental consideration that affects health and wellbeing. Our rigorous and scientifically valid indoor air quality inspections have been used by homeowners, strata and body corporates, the real estate sector and in numerous civil legal cases. If you need answers regarding the air quality of your home or workplace, then let the team at biologicalhealthservices.com.au arrange an inspection so we can help you fast or choose a mail order kit and do it yourself from us here at mould.net.au. Either way, you can be assured of premium service and expert analytical advice for your particular problem.
Who This Is For
(e.g. Our kits are suitable for:
Do You Need More Than This?
We do of course carry out all types of on-site inspections and can advise you on testing methods, analyse existing data or written reports and provide expert witness services. We pride ourselves on the provision of high-level analytical reporting. Call us on 1300132350 for a confidential discussion of the particulars of your matter or claim.
Other Testing Methods We Can Analyse
How Easy Is It?
The test itself is very easy to do yourself. In principal, all you are doing is taking an air sample from outdoors as your control (considered to be normal/clean air) and then taking air samples from within your home. The Petri plates arrive sterile and you just expose them to the air for a fixed period of time, then return them to our lab where we do all the work of incubating them, examining them under the microscope as required and counting the colonies and classifying your mould colonies against their taxonomic indicators (Species identification).
"If you can open and close a lid - you can do this test " 😀😀😀
Our Method Is Peer Reviewed
JONES, C.L. (2016). Review Of The Settling Plate Method For Indoor Air Quality And Mould Inspections.
Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, 3rd - 6th July 2016
Sample Lab Report & Testimonials
Take a look at the detailed quality of our reports. Let us do the specialist lab work that is involved in correctly identifying your specific mould samples and then preparing the report!
Lab Report sample
This client wanted to test three of his habitable rooms for viable airborne moulds and compare the levels with the outdoor control. He also wanted to check to HVAC system and used one Petri plate for that test.
All our lab work is digitally automated for your peace of mind and to ensure technical accuracy from bench, incubator or microscope until these results are finally in your hand as a finished PDF file.
This client was in dispute with her landlord regarding a mould problem and her claims were not being taken seriously. Our report was used at VCAT to validate her claims and seek a decision.
More testimonials here.
Confirmation that a new home does not show any signs of mould after the same Family moved from a previously mould-affected home into this one - and they wanted to make sure the new home was OK.
More testimonials here.
How to Measure Airborne Microbial Contamination Using Passive Sampling or the Settling Plate Technique
Fekadu, S. and Getachewu, B. (2015). Microbiological assessment of indoor air of teaching hospital wards: a case of Jimma University Specialised Hospital. Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences. 25(2): 117-122.
Setlhare, G., Malebo, N., Shale, K. and Lues, R. (2014). Identification of airborne microbiota in selected areas in a health-care setting in South Africa. BMC Microbiology. 14: 100.
Napoli, C., Marcotrigiano, V. and Montagna, M.T. (2012). Air sampling procedures to evaluate microbial contamination: a comparison between active and passive methods in operating theatres. BMC Public Health. 12: 594.
Burr, H.N., Wolf, F.R. and Lipman, N.S. (2012). Corynebacterium bovis: Epizootiologic features and environmental contamination in an enzootically infected rodent room. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. 51(2): 189-198.
Bowling, F.L., Stickings, D.S., Edwards-Jones, V., Armstrong, D.G. and Boulton, A.J.M. (2009). Hydrodebridement of wounds: effectiveness in reducing would bacterial contamination and potential for air bacterial contamination. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 2: 13.
Khojasteh, V.J., Edwards-Jones, V., Childs, C. and Foster, H.A. (2007). Prevalence of toxin producing strains of Staphylococcus aureus in a pediatric burns unit. Burns. 33(3): 334-340.
Andon, B.M. (2006). Active air vs. passive air (settle plate) monitoring in routine environmental monitoring programs. PDA J Pharm Sci Technol. 60(6): 350-355.
Pasquarella, C., Masia, M.D., Nnanga, N., Sansebastiano, G.E., Savino, A., Signorelli, C., Veronesi, L. (2004). Microbial air monitoring in operating theatre: active and passive samplings. Ann Ig. 16(1-2): 375-386.
Pasquarella, C., Pitzurra, O. and Savino, A. (2000). The index of microbial air contamination. Journal of Hospital Infection. 46: 241-256.
Answers to Common Questions
Q1. How long does it take you once I order to get my results?
A1. We send all orders out the day we receive your order or the next business day if your order arrives late in the day. Once you receive it, we'd suggest doing the sampling and then sending back the kit. Once we receive it, we generally incubate it for 1-5 days and prepare your report. Please note that fungal colonies generally appear within the first 3-5 days, so the transit time actually helps speed up the process, and we can incubate your samples for less time, so you get your results faster. We are however guided by the intrinsic variabilities of 'biology' and sometimes cultures grow more or less quickly. In some cases, colonies appear very quickly (dominance of fast growers), while at other times, we wait for the slow growers to appear before preparing your report. In all cases we will analyse your cultures before the plate(s) show confluence (e.g. plate filling).
Q2. Can I get my kit delivered with extra postal services?
A2. YES - you can order Signature on Delivery or Extra Insurance as part of checkout.
Q3. Where is my shopping cart. I don't see it once I click?
A3. Your shopping cart with selected items is located towards the bottom right hand side of the screen.
Q4. Can I call you to discuss my results?
A4. YES - call in Australia on: 1300 13 23 50
Q5. Will the travel time affect my results?
A5. NO - The travel time is actually of benefit to you, since fungi grow well at ambient temperatures.
Q6. What will the kit offer me?
A6. If you want to know BOTH the type of fungi present (identified to Genus and Species) as well as the concentration relative to the control, then this is the kit for you. Knowing the ID to the different fungi allows you or your healthcare provider to potentially link exposure to specific environmental fungal strains with known medical effects and illness associated with those moulds. In summary, the report provides numerical exposure values for each sample you send in. This means, you get: (1) Identifications to what Genus/Species ID grew, (2) Total number of fungi and (3) a visual photograph of each Petri plate showing you exactly what grew where. These photographs are often an excellent way to 'tell at a glance' about the contamination level of one location versus another and makes it easy to understand the report.
Q7. I've been told that ERMI testing is better?
A7. Our kits use standard microbiology and mycology methods. ERMI only targets 36 fungi. Our lab can speciate/identify literally hundreds of different unknown fungi based on phenotype - including ALL of the fungi specified in the ERMI or the HERTSMI-2. Taxonomic keys have been around for decades, so we aren't limited to only identifying pre-selected fungi. Therefore, you get a more accurate appraisal of exactly what viable fungi are in your air or swab sample.
Q8. I've been told that Petri plates don't give accurate results?
A8. Petri plates measure what grows on the plate. In the same way that a medical Doctor can swab your throat and send this into the lab to test for say: Step throat - Petri plates are the best way to determine exactly what is growing where. Whilst it's true that not all fungi can grow on all types of media and some species might dominate in any one sample, microbiology is fundamentally based on identification from live cell cultures. Our testing kids simply extend on this true tenent of biology, allowing you to get results that make sense.
Q9. Why is the outdoor control important?
A9. If you want to try and compare the indoor air quality with the outdoor air quality (assumed to be normal) you need to take the outdoor air as a reference control. Having a control is also a fundamental prerequisite for proper scientific method. Therefore, please order sufficient Petri plates to allow you to sample all the areas that are of interest to you.
Q10. What is the point of the Chain of Custody?
A10. The Chain of Custody that we send you needs to be filled in and returned with your Petri plates. This form contains important dates and information about the location of the samples, descriptions of the samples and who did what when. We need this information in order to complete your report properly.
Q11. Will this help me with my residential tenancy problem?
A11. Yes - a lab test from us provides quantitative evidence regarding the viable mould levels in the airspace and/or on target surfaces. Such information is of relevance in documenting the amenity and health and safety issues of your particular situation.
Q12. Is mould really dangerous?
A12. Yes - take a look at a recent 2016 PDF paper that details how even low exposure levels can cause "drastic pro inflammatory interactions". Reference: Synergistic proinﬂammatory interactions of microbial toxins andstructural components characteristic to moisture-damagedbuildings. Indoor Air. 2016.
Q13. Can I use your kit to check if my home has been remediated successfully?
A13. Yes and No. If you are concerned as to whether a particular contractor has performed a successful decontamination or remediation at your property then it is always best to ask the contractor to provide proof by way of a clearance certificate. If that is not possible, or you simply want to do an independent test, then this is the kit for you. This way, you can confirm or refute findings based on what grows under viable testing. Our kits also allow you to check that you have not been sold unproven decontamination treatments that may not have worked.
Q14. How secure is your website with my credit card details?
A12. We have installed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt communication to and from your website to ours using SSL. This makes our website safer, faster and smarter. We have also installed McAfee Secure for an added layer of security for our customer data during transactions on our sales platform. Together these tools protect you and us from unwanted actions - all the while providing a fast, secure experience.
Q15. Still have a question that's not answered here?
A12. Customer satisfaction is fundamental to the success of our business. If you have a specific question that's not adequately answered here - pick up the phone and call in Australia on: 1300 13 23 50 or fill in an email below.