Environmental Relative Mouldiness Index (ERMI)
This is a test that will quantify the DNA of mould spores and spore equivalents (fragments) in a sample of dust using MSQPCR (Mould Specific Quantified PCR). Again this is a screening test, but one for your environment (house, office, school) and can be carried out by yourself, a Building Biologist or an IEP (IEP-Indoor Environmental Professional) to assess the condition of your perceived troublesome space. This test will provide information that your Physician will use to help inform a diagnosis of CIRS.
If you choose to remediate then this test can also be done once again after waiting for 2-4 weeks for dust to settle. This test is endorsed by Dr Shoemaker as the MOST ACCURATE building test for CIRS patients (Shoemaker Diagnostic Process 2018)
Some people choose to use the Shoemaker recommended laboratory Mycometrics in America for the ERMI Test which analyses dust samples for the 36 moulds that may be present in your home. Alternatively there is an Australian Lab called Mould Lab also performing this test. For ease of communication due to time zones and preferring to use and support a local business, many opt for the local business Mould Lab.
This ERMI test is important if you are ill and you believe your inside environment is the cause. If you receive an elevated ERMI score then you have a mould problem in your indoor dwelling. In recent clinical studies, an elevated ERMI score was closely linked to brain fog, memory deficits and abnormalities with executive function. Following Shoemaker protocol treatment, WDB remediation and repeat ERMI of under 2, brain function was returned to pre-WDB wellness.
Health Effects Roster of Type Specific Formers of Mycotoxins and Inflammagens-version 2 (HERTSMI-2)
Some people use the ERMI after remediation of their WDB, but there is another test that Dr Shoemaker endorses that samples less moulds, namely 5, called the HERTSMI-2.
The acronym stands for Health Effects Roster of Type Specific Formers of Mycotoxins and Inflammagens- version 2 (HERTSMI-2). This is a cheaper test and some people prefer to use Mould Lab for this. Again the test involves taking a sample of dust from your WDB using a strict set of instructions. A result of <10 indicates a building is safe for reoccupation. Naturally the lower the number the better for a CIRS-WDB sufferer.
Careful observance of symptoms must not be ignored after passing an ERMI or HERTSMI-2 test. Let your physical symptoms guide your belief that an environment is safe or otherwise. No test is foolproof.