The ASTM International has published the first standard method for enumeration and identification of spores collected on inertial impactors. Currently, there are significant differences in the methods used by labs to analyse spore traps. These differences have made comparison of results from various labs difficult. The method “ASTM D7391 – 09 Standard Test Method for Categorization and Quantification of Airborne Fungal Structures in an Inertial Impaction Sample by Optical Microscopy” will help the labs using this method to analyse samples in a similar manner.
However, the standard is unlikely to overcome the limitations of spore traps but it is a good start in developing scientifically sound standard methods for analysis of spore traps. The standard also leaves the interpretation of results to the individual consultants. For details about the standard, visit http://www.astm.org/Standards/D7391.htm.