Recreational Environment: Pathogenic Fungi in Public Places, Information Gaps in Assessing Public Health Risk

Helena M Solo-Gabriele, João Brandão, Bari Gordon, Alesia Ferguson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Sediment and sands are reservoirs for many fungal pathogens. Given the burden of fungal illness worldwide, efforts are needed to document risks associated with sediment and sand contact. Areas of particular concern include public places that encourage children's contact with sand. The unique play activities of children put them at increased risk due to potential exposures through skin, ingestion, and inhalation. This chapter summarizes data needs in terms of the basic components of risk assessment, including hazard identification, exposure, dose-response, and risk characterization. A literature review of fungi detection in public parks, sandpits, and beach sands found that the most commonly detected fungal pathogens included species of Aspergillus, Candida, Chrysosporium, Cryptococcus, Microsporum, Penicillium, Trichophyton, and Trichosporon. Risk estimations would benefit from a review and analysis of dose-response data for these fungi as well as studies that evaluate the influence of abrasions and wounds on the adherence and uptake of fungi on the skin. Risk assessment would also benefit from improved exposure assessments through the documentation of children's play behaviors when in contact with sediment and sand. Given the definition of acceptable risk levels, which would depend upon the severity of the disease, allowable levels of fungi can be then computed to establish guidelines for sand fungal levels in public areas or recommendations for human conduct during and after play activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Mycology in Public Health
Subtitle of host publicationFungi and Mycotoxins Risk Assessment and Management
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780124115354
ISBN (Print)9780124114715
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Fungi
  • Recreational exposure
  • Risk
  • Risk assessment
  • Sand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Recreational Environment: Pathogenic Fungi in Public Places, Information Gaps in Assessing Public Health Risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this