Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 86, Issue 6, pp 850–860 | Cite as

Correlation between ERMI Values and Other Moisture and Mold Assessments of Homes in the American Healthy Homes Survey

  • Stephen VesperEmail author
  • Craig McKinstry
  • David Cox
  • Gary Dewalt


The main objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) values in the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Healthy Homes Survey (AHHS) homes and an alternative analysis frequently used in mold investigations, i.e., the inspector’s “walk-through” assessment of visual or olfactory evidence of mold combined with occupant’s answers to a questionnaire about mold odors and moisture. Homes in the highest ERMI quartile were in agreement with visual inspection and/or occupant assessment 48% of the time but failed to detect the mold in 52% of the fourth quartile homes. In about 7% of lowest ERMI quartile homes, the inspection and occupant assessments overestimated the mold problem. The ERMI analysis of dust from homes may be useful in finding hidden mold problems. An additional objective was to compare the ERMI values in inner city east-Baltimore homes, where childhood asthma is common, to the AHHS randomly selected homes.


Mold Moisture MSQPCR ERMI Inner city Questionnaire 



United States Environmental Protection Agency


Mold-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction


Environmental relative moldiness index


Department of Housing and Urban Development


American Healthy Homes Survey



This research was partially supported by funding from the U.S. EPA Asthma Initiative.


The U.S. EPA through its Office of Research and Development, funded and collaborated in the research described here. It has been subjected to the Agency’s peer review and has been approved as an EPA publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products, including those that embody EPA patented technology, does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the EPA for use.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Vesper
    • 1
    Email author
  • Craig McKinstry
    • 2
  • David Cox
    • 3
  • Gary Dewalt
    • 3
  1. 1.United States Environmental Protection AgencyCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA
  3. 3.QuanTechArlingtonUSA

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