The control of environmental quality of literal areas in EEC is mainly concerned with the microbiological quality of water (direct and indirect contact). Data concerning the microbiological quality of sand in different beaches of Portugal (three main coastal areas) are presented. Based on those results, data available In the literature and epidemiological information, a preliminary guideline criterion for the microbiological control of sand is proposed, to complete criteria used in “Blue Flag” distinction, accorded to high environmental quality beaches.

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