Beach Sand Quality – A Recent ConcernFebruary 23, 2024 (2:00 pm, HST)

Beach Sand Quality – A Recent ConcernFebruary 23, 2024 (2:00 pm, HST)


Speaker: Dr. João Brandão


The emergence of Candida auris has sparked global interest in fungi within the context of environmental and occupational health, water management, and research. In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) discussed several fungal taxa as being “of interest” for recreational water quality management, and recommended monitoring beach sand for bacterial indicators of faecal pollution and all fungi. In 2022, the WHO Fungal Priority Pathogens List was published cementing the recommendation to monitor fungi in national and supranational regulation. However, the cost and specificity of methodologies for fungi monitoring may present a challenge for their implementation. Current water microbiology regulation is focused nearly exclusively on faecal indicator bacteria and the integration of Fungi would require further training and funding, but the emergence of Candid auris already justifies such an investment in the near future.

Despite government efforts to develop guidelines and directives, non-governmental organizations are leading the charge in implementing sand analysis programs. Blue Flag is a world-renowned program that recognizes voluntary groups across the globe with an award that fulfils their aim of “connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment.”





August 18, 2023 recording (click here)






May 6, 2022 Transcript (download here)

May 6, 2022 Recording (click here)