According to the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), ERMI testing has proven to be of little to no value as compared to the proven spore trap sampling, swab, tape, Anderson air sampling and/or simple bulk testing that are EPA approved sampling methods which are proven to be reliable, easily interpreted, and endorsed by the EPA.
ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index Testing) is not an EPA endorsed testing method due to highly inconsistent results, interpretational inconsistencies and much more reliable and more promulgated testing methods.
The following information is taken from reports from the EPA's website regarding ERMI testing:
The EPA substantiated the allegation that firms have been using the mold index tool although the EPA has not validated the tool for public use. The EPA readily acknowledged that it had not validated or peer reviewed MSQPCR or ERMI for public use. The agency said it considers MSQPCR and ERMI to be research tools not intended for public use. Although the EPA has licensed MSQPCR to companies for introduction into the marketplace under the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, neither federal law nor the EPA’s procedures address the level of validation needed before or after transferring federally developed technologies to the private sector. In addition, there are no EPA regulatory requirements for developing or validating indoor mold test methods or assessing indoor mold levels.
Licensees were marketing MSQPCR to the public as part of the ERMI tool. In the EPA's view, one current and one past licensee’s advertising could mislead the public into thinking that these research tools are EPA-approved methods for evaluating indoor mold. (This testing is not approved or endorsed by the EPA). The license agreements stipulate that the licensee should not state or imply in any medium that the EPA endorses MSQPCR. In addition, information that appeared on an EPA webpage suggested that the EPA validated and endorsed MSQPCR for public use. Consequently, there is a risk that the public may make inappropriate decisions regarding indoor mold on the belief that MSQPCR and ERMI results were based on research tools fully validated and endorsed by the EPA for public use. Which they are not.
Public awareness of indoor mold has risen over the past several years, and trade industry and other publications have raised concerns about the legitimacy of some firms offering remediation/testing services. Because of the numerous questions the EPA received from the public regarding the ERMI tool, the EPA drafted a fact sheet (not yet published) on indoor mold, MSQPCR, and ERMI. Informing the public about the ERMI tool and monitoring compliance with license agreements would improve assurance that the public is not misled about the ERMI tool and understands its limitations.