Air sampling and surveillance cultures for fungi were performed in a Scottish general haematology ward over a five-month period in 1997. The mean total fungal count from the air sampling appeared to be correlated with the number of patients colonized by Aspergillus. The most commonly isolated species were Aspergillus versicolor, A. fumigatus and A. niger. Rooms with portable air filtration units had significantly lower total fungal counts than the others. Swabs were taken from 70 patients (mean age 62 years); 114 of the 563 cultures (20.2%) were positive. The most commonly isolated species were A. fumigatus, Candida albicans, C. glabrata and C. parapsilosis. Samples taken from the tongue and perineum showed colonization more often than those taken from the nostrils. Almost half the patients (48.6%) were colonized on, or within seven days of, admission; 11.4% became colonized whilst on the unit. One patient developed fatal aspergillosis. We conclude that colonization or high air-borne spore concentrations are not necessarily predictive of fungal infection but may prompt early treatment or more aggressive prophylaxis of potentially fatal invasive infections.