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Microbiology Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 3/15/2024
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Humidifiers and Preventing the Dispersal of Microorganisms and Minerals in California Homes and Buildings
Introduction LA Testing provides indoor environmental quality testing services, sampling supplies, test kits and monitoring instruments to identify a wide range of air and surface contaminants.

Huntington Beach, California, March 15, 2024

In large parts of California, the air inside of homes and buildings can feel overly dry during much of the year due to weather conditions. The dry indoor air can cause physical discomfort, such as dry nose, throat, lips and skin. The moisture humidifiers can add to the air can help alleviate those conditions, as well as help to prevent static electricity, peeling wallpaper, and cracks in paint and furniture caused by dry air.

However, if not properly used and maintained, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that excess moisture in the air from humidifiers can encourage the growth of biological organisms in the indoor environment. These organisms include dust mites, which are microscopic animals that produce materials causing allergic reactions, and mold. The agency also states that microorganisms often grow in humidifiers which are equipped with tanks containing standing water. Breathing mist containing these pollutants has been implicated as causing a certain type of inflammation of the lungs. 

Several years ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a Safety Alert about how dirty humidifiers may cause health problems. In it, CPSC reports that breathing dirty mist may cause lung problems ranging from flu-like symptoms to serious infections. The CPSC Safety Alert also addresses exposure to minerals that can be released in the mist and settle as fine white dust. This dust contains particles that are small enough to enter the lungs. 

“Fortunately, there are ways to assess the indoor environment for issues caused by humidifiers,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “At LA Testing, we offer real-time instruments to monitor indoor humidity levels and laboratory testing services for mold, bacteria, dust mites and any minerals that have settled. These resources can be essential for ensuring the proper use and maintenance of humidifiers to optimize indoor conditions for all building occupants.”

LA Testing sponsored an educational video with tips to reduce the dispersal of microorganisms and minerals from humidifiers that can be seen at: 

To learn more about this or other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services and monitoring instruments, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit


About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for environmental and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, bacteria, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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