Ermi and Hertsmi are a type of test that our customers often ask us about. It is essentially a test in which they gather dust samples via a vacuum attachment or a “swiffer” duster and send the dust into the lab. At that point, the lab breaks down the sample into the actual DNA of the microbial growth. Armed with this DNA info, they can give your home a relative moldiness score, compared to a sampling of average homes across the U.S. They feel that they need to get to the DNA for the simple reason that some aspergillis are dangerous and some are not. Some penicillium are dangerous and some are not, etc etc. By getting to the very DNA, they can determine the genus of the fungi and know the mycotoxin coming off of the mold.
Here is what we, in the Pure Maintenance family need to understand. If you take an after “ermi” test, there still may very well be DNA present. In fact, it is likely that DNA strands will be present. Even though we have completely denatured the cell, and left it completely lifeless and harmless, there still will be DNA. Therefore, it is extremely important for us to educate healthcare practitioners as well as customers that the ERMI “after” test may not give them true picture of the health of the home. I have had a number of conversations with healthcare practitioners and they all understand this and are fine with it. One last thing, the ermi was never meant to be “released” as a standard for testing. It was for research purposes. It has inherent flaws in that it gives you a history of the microbial growth of a home, but does not give you a “real time” assessment of the home. We at PureMaintenance are continuing our work in finding a “perfect” fit for testing homes both before and after.