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Course Details

The Silent Menace – Moulds and toxins in the modern built environment

Cranfield University
Cranfield Health
Contact Provider
Two and a half-days in total
Short Course
This course is suitable for professionals concerned with the health and safety aspects of buildings.
Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Course overview

Moulds grow in a multitude of places, many of which are hidden from sight. Even when visible mould is cleaned away it can re-grow later and proliferate via very resistant spores. Unless the mould is completely removed it can have serious harmful effects on human health as well as causing permanent and highly expensive damage to buildings.

This two and a half-day course is designed to provide professionals concerned with the health and safety aspects of buildings with an understanding of the risks of moulds and their toxins – how they develop in buildings, and the implications for those who are exposed to them.

Course description

Moulds can grow on a wide variety of building materials and are commonly found in moist or damp areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, but can develop anywhere in a building. The course will teach you the fundamental aspects of moulds and mould growth; how moulds are detected through sampling and how results can be interpreted, the different types of moulds found in buildings and the conditions they need to survive.

You will develop an understanding of the harmful effects moulds have on human health and on building fabric. The exposure of healthy individuals to moulds and toxins can cause serious respiratory problems, affect our immunity and increase the risk of allergies. You will develop an understanding of how different exposure levels increase the severity of health issues.

You will also learn how building design can exacerbate the potential for the development of moulds. You will take part in a number of laboratory-based practical sessions which will demonstrate first-hand how mould investigations are carried out, and what the test reports generated really mean. You will also have access to case study material which will demonstrate the types of problems encountered, and how these have been addressed.

Course outline

Topics covered will include the following:

  • Introduction to moulds
  • What mould needs to survive
  • How to detect moulds and toxins
  • Toxins and toxicology
  • Sampling methods and analysis and interpretation
  • Health implications of moulds
  • Material damage caused by moulds
  • Moulds prevention and remediation.


The course will be delivered in the form of a two and a half-day residential workshop and will be delivered by recognised experts in the mycology field.
The course will consist of a mixture of practical sessions including moulds and air sampling techniques and the examination of common moulds in our bioscience laboratories. There will also be interactive case study sessions.
Accompanying lecture notes, which will be supplied both in electronic and hard copy paper format, will support the course throughout.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for professionals concerned with the health and safety aspects of buildings, including:

  • Environmental health practitioners
  • Building inspectors
  • Building surveyors
  • Building engineers
  • Building material manufacturers
  • Architects
  • Housing association personnel
  • Landlords
  • Utility heating and ventilation providers
  • Loss adjustors/ assessors
  • Buildings insurers
  • Government building and environmental officers
  • Building accreditation bodies
  • Clinicians – Respiratory and immunologists
  • NHS Estates & facilities personnel.



Fee includes lunch, refreshments and an evening meal.

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