Environmental services

Exposure to fungi in buildings is a significant risk factor for a number of respiratory conditions including allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and infections.

We provide sampling and identification for buildings, air/dust and objects/materials.

Our mould contamination testing service

The MRCM’s Mould Surveillance Unit has the expertise to carry out monitoring of indoor environments for allergenic and pathogenic moulds (see test catalogue for current prices), with an integrated medical advisory service to interpret their impact on health.

We offer testing of on-site mould contamination testing in homes, schools, workplaces and hospital environments. We also offer testing of objects including toys and artworks.

  • Molecular identification of referred cultures (UKAS accredited)
  • Environmental and industrial investigation
  • Contract research and provision of training.

We are supported by colleagues in the National Aspergillosis Centre, Infectious Diseases and Respiratory Medicine. The centre collaborates with both public and private sector organisations, universities and advises the Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers on all issues relating to moulds.

Quality

Mould surveys and growth tests fully comply with national and international standards:

  • BS ISO 16000-1:2006: General aspects of sampling strategy
  • BS ISO 16000-19: 2012: Sampling strategy for moulds
  • BS ISO 16000-18: 2011 – Detection and enumeration of moulds – Sampling by impaction
  • BS ISO 16000-17: 2008 – Detection and enumeration of moulds – Culture-based method
  • ISO 15189: Identification of moulds and yeasts by molecular sequencing

How do we identify moulds?

Our detection and testing service allows you to discover what kind of mould is growing in your home, workplace, or on your product. There are several ways we can help you to identify your mould:

  • Site visit and sampling: we send our team to analyse the site to find likely sources of mould and collect samples for identification. Surveys can include building exteriors, interiors and contents, but we can only access areas of the building that are ready accessible (we will not open up cavities, lift flooring or go into roof spaces). All fungi taken from the survey are identified, and we provide a full report including the clinical impact of mould exposure.
  • Air sampling: we determine the quantity and diversity of airborne fungal spores, either as part of our site sampling or as a stand-alone service. Please note that this is a snapshot of the airborne moulds in the building at the time of sampling and may or may not reflect accurately the moulds present in the air taken at another time in the same room; consequently this is for information only.
  • Surface sampling: we can culture mould directly from objects or bulk samples of material/walls/wood. Our expert mycologists will then isolate and identify the predominant species of fungi present. You will receive a comprehensive report containing information on the clinical relevance and the mould’s hazard group status. 

Limitations

  • We are not damp surveyors so cannot advise on causes of damp or remediation work. You should engage a separate damp surveyor for that purpose.
  • Our report is based solely on what we find in our samples and the known potential pathogenicity and allergenicity of the mould species we identify. The presence of most fungal species does not suggest that any individual will inevitably become ill as a consequence, nor does its absence infer that any illness will be relieved. Illness caused by dampness and moulds remains a highly debated area of medical science so any conclusions we may make are speculative and for information only.
  • We cannot guarantee that we will identify the source of any health issues you may have, nor can we guarantee that any action taken as a result of our work will relieve the symptoms of any health issues you may have.
  • Sampling, particularly air sampling is prone to provide different results from day to day, but our service is backed up by an NHS accredited identification service teamed with NHS respiratory and aspergillosis specialist centres, so we have a great deal of expertise in this field relating to asthma, hypersensitivity and aspergillosis. We will make every effort to provide you with our best possible opinion with regards to the impact the damp in your home may have on its human occupants.