Home Air Quality Easy-to-Use Rating System Provides Tool for Selecting Mold Resistant Building Materials

Easy-to-Use Rating System Provides Tool for Selecting Mold Resistant Building Materials


ATLANTA—Mold contamination can cause rapid deterioration of construction and furnishing materials, leading to excessive project costs for replacement and project delays. Mold growing on these materials also can become a source of indoor air pollutants, which can lead to serious health problems, including allergic reactions and asthma attacks, and potential liability for those who design, build, operate, finance and insure the buildings in which people live and work.

Manufacturers are taking the initiative to develop mold resistant products as well as taking the necessary steps to generate confidence in these products by clearly demonstrating how well they resist mold growth. Third-party authorization or verification yields a great value and marketing edge when their products are compared with other products that have not been tested.

To support manufacturers in their efforts, Air Quality Sciences (AQS) has developed a unique test method that reliably predicts the ability of newly manufactured building materials to resist mold growth. This method, which provides a mold resistance rating from 1 to 4, can be used to qualify products for the new Greenguard Microbial Resistance Listing Program. Architects and specifiers are using this program to take the guesswork out of selecting building materials that resist mold growth.

Myriad Product Types Tested

To date, AQS has tested products in the following categories: wallcoverings, adhesives, air filters, flooring, insulation, furniture and wall finishes. AQS also is further enhancing this testing methodology to accommodate additional product categories, including solid surfacing products, textiles, wallboard and wood construction materials. To review products that have been tested using the AQS mold resistance test method and that qualify for the Greenguard Microbial Listing Program, visit the Microbial Resistant page in the Find Products section of the Greenguard website at www.greenguard.org.

Unlike other ASTM test methods that evaluate microbial resistance, the AQS mold resistance test method provides quantitative results across a wide variety of building materials, within a reasonable amount of time and under conditions favorable for indoor mold growth. The AQS test method that supports this rating system is based on ASTM D 6329-98 (2003). A white paper that provides perspective on the usefulness of this new test method and rating system is currently available under the White Paper tab of the Premium Content page of the AQS-Aerias IAQ Resource Center website (www.aerias.org).

Air Quality Sciences is offering this test method to assist product manufacturers develop mold resistant products and to provide the required testing to be listed under the Greenguard Microbial Resistance Listing Program.