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Microbial investigation

We are the only UK laboratory accredited by UKAS for on-site mould-contamination testing.

We work with commercial clients to help them with investigations of fungal contamination problems in their clients’ homes and workplace environments. Our surveys include building exteriors, interiors and contents. We can also sample objects from machinery to valuable artefacts.

For details of our molecular methods, please see our Fungal & Bacteria Identification Service which deals with pure cultures.

Detection and testing

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 can send our team to you and they will undertake sampling and an analysis of the site. Our surveys can include buildings, interiors and contents. We can also sample from a huge range of objects from machinery to valuable artifacts.
  • Fungal Sampling Kit for commercial customers: this consists of a set of swabs for taking sampling from surfaces.

This kit comes with full instructions and can be returned by post to CABI for analysis and we will provide a report containing information on the mould’s hazard group status on any samples returned to us. This is less comprehensive than the full site visit, but is a good option if your budget is tight.

  • Air Sampling: we take air samples to determine the quantity and diversity of fungal spores. This is part of our on-site sampling but can be a stand-alone service.

Send us a sample (commercial customers only). We can isolate directly from objects or samples of material/walls/wood. Wrap the sample in absorbent material such as kitchen roll or newspaper, but please avoid plastic bags, as these can cause ‘sweating’ and mix the organisms. Our expert scientists will then isolate and identify the predominant species of fungi present. You will receive a comprehensive report containing information on health matters and the mould’s hazard group status. 

Please note: CABI does not accept samples submitted directly by domestic customers, samples that are considered hazardous or any materials clearly labelled as such. If you believe your sample may present a hazard, please contact CABI to discuss the sample in more detail.

Any costs incurred through incorrect packaging and labelling or sending of restricted/hazardous samples without prior consent will be the responsibility of the sender.

It is highly recommended that any individual sending samples for testing undertakes a shipping and handling course in order to ensure that samples are correctly packaged and labelled appropriately and in accordance with the law.

CABI does not handle microorganisms in Category A. Category A organisms are classified as infectious substances which are capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. These include all microorganisms in hazard group 3. For further information about Category A organisms, please see the WHO Guidance on regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances. In order to achieve the fastest identification processing times, we recommend the provision of pure cultures or we can offer an optional isolation service

For more information, please visit the CABI Bioscience website or contact:

Mould growth testing

CABI has been UKAS accredited to undertake mould growth tests for nearly 35 years.

Our experienced staff test equipment, components or products for their resistance to mould. Our facilities can handle any material or product (up to a size of 50 x 60 x 70cm) and we can meet either recognized published standards or your own specification.

UKAS accredited tests:

  • Mil Std 810
  • EN 60068-2-10

Other tests we regularly undertake include:

  • Def Stan 00-35
  • RTCA DO 160
  • BS2011

Fuel testing

Our fuel testing services are based on the methodology produced by the Institute of Petroleum to quantify fungal and bacterial contamination of aviation and marine fuels. In this aspect of our work we have a close working relationship with Conidia Bioscience Ltd, based on-site at Egham.