Two EPA scientists have developed an innovative way to detect potentially dangerous molds much faster and with more accuracy. Drs. Stephen J. Vesper and Richard Haugland have developed a DNA-based system that allows rapid identification and quantification of molds in a matter of hours. Current methodologies require days or weeks to identify molds before remedial action can be taken.

The new technology also enables scientists to make risk assessments by identifying which mold is present and in what numbers. The new technology can be used to detect the mold Stachybotrys, commonly known as "black mold," and more than 50 other possibly problematic molds.

Molds typically grow in buildings affected by water damage, and have been found in homes, hospitals, schools, and office buildings. It is estimated that about 50 to l00 common indoor mold types have the potential for creating health problems.

Exposure to mold has been identified as a potential cause of many health problems including asthma, sinusitis, and infections. It is also believed that molds play a major role in cases of sick building syndrome and related illnesses.

The technology is available for licensing on a non-exclusive basis by laboratories, indoor air quality specialists, or other environmental professionals. Aerotech Laboratories, Inc., a small Arizona business, is the first licensee under this government patent.