• FAQ

    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. However, please send the Petri plates back as soon as possible after sampling. Please do not wait for signs of growth before sending your plates back, we need to analyse them within the week of sampling. Undue delays may influence the results.

     

    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. We should also point out that ERMI is NOT approved except for "Research Use Only". Quoting directly from the USA EPA website it states that: "At this point in its development, the ERMI should be used only for research. The ERMI has not been validated for routine public use in homes, schools, or other buildings.” Link to reference here.

     

    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. For further confirmation, take a look at some of the diverse Academic literature that uses the settling plate method just like what we use in our kits. As you can see, the method is robust and in use worldwide.

     

    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. The indoor air samples should be lower than the outdoor levels of viable moulds for a 'normal' or 'non-water damaged' home. 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. How many tests can I do per kit?

    A10. Each kit comes with a set number of Petri plates. For example, if you order a 5-sample kit, you can test 5 areas using one of the two methods (air or surface). Typical scenario: You buy the 5-sample kit. It arrives and you decide to test 3 rooms inside your home (say 2 bedrooms and your open plan main living room) plus the outdoor control. This uses up 4 Petri plates. But you know you can see visible mould on the ceiling in the bathroom, and want to know what it is? Then use the 5th Petri plate and the sterile swabs that come with the kit to surface sample the ceiling. Then you post all the Petri plates back to us for incubation and analysis.

     

    Q11. What is the point of the Chain of Custody?

    A11. 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.

     

    Q12. Will this help me with my residential tenancy problem?

    A12. 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.

     

    Q13. Can I buy your mould test kit at Bunnings?

    A13. No - We pack each kit straight from 'new' Petri plate media taken from our lab fridges. As such, each kit is guaranteed sterile to the best of our ability once it ships to you. Petri plate media typically doesn't have a long shelf-life and therefore isn't available in retail stores like Bunnings.

     

    Q14. Are your kits suitable for assessing mould removal?

    A13. Yes - If you have had anyone perform mould removal, then you can use our kits to check their work and see if it has been successful. In the event that you require more detailed information, feel free to contact a mould removal specialist like Dr. Cameron Jones.

     

    Q15. Is mould really dangerous?

    A13. 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 and structural components characteristic to moisture-damagedbuildings. Indoor Air. 2016. or Aerosolization of mycotoxins after growth of toxinogenic fungi on wallpaper. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2017.

     

    Q16. Can I use your kit to check if my home has been remediated successfully?

    A14. 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, which is called a Post Remediation Verification (PRV) report. This is a document that should provide "before" and "after" assessment of indoor mould levels - spores and viable growth as well as particulate matter levels. If that level of detail is not possible to obtain, 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.

     

    Q17. What Results to expect?

    A15. If you have taken an outdoor control, then you will be able to compare the indoor air quality in whatever rooms you have sampled from. Generally the indoor air samples should show the same or similar fungal composition to the control/outdoor readings. The indoor air samples should be lower than the outdoor levels of viable moulds for a 'normal' or 'non-water damaged' home. The Hygiene index will tell you what the contamination level is. The corresponding Risk classification will tell you what the potential impact of these fungi is on your indoor living environment (amenity and OHS). In some cases, the tests will be NORMAL and there will be no evidence of a viable mould problem. This is very good news in many cases. However, in somme cases, the rooms tested will show significant levels of contamination. Either way: isn't it better to know!

     

    Q18. How secure is your website with my credit card details?

    A16. 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.

     

    Q19. Still have a question that's not answered here?

    A17. 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 from our Contact page.

     

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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.

5. At mould.net.au the security of personal information that we collect is of utmost importance to us and we follow the Australian Privacy Principles and comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). In line with our Privacy Policy, mould.net.au may hold your personal information in electronic or hard copy format or a combination of both. We have taken a number of physical, electronic and procedural steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. mould.net.au will not disclose your credit card details to any other persons.

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 7 days of the initial order. After 7 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.