In order to evaluate the sanitary quality of marine recreational waters and sand at some beaches of São Paulo State, Brazil, a 19-month study (1984-1985) was undertaken at nine sampling stations, and a total of 342 samples of sea water and sand were analysed for total and faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella. In sand samples Candida albicans, dermatophytes, Pitryrosporum, helminth eggs and protozoan cysts were also researched. Sea water samples were also analysed for enteroviruses and, in the second part of this study, for enterococci also. The results have shown some areas with high levels of faecal contamination in sea water and sand. The Brazilian recommended faecal coliform limit was exceeded in 31% of the sea water samples. Out of 171 sea water samples analysed, 10.5% were positive for Salmonella and 3.5% for enteroviruses. Positive results for C. albicans were observed in 18.7% of the sand samples and helminth eggs were detected in 12.9% of these 171 samples; Pityrosporum, dermatophytes and protozoan cysts were not detected.

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