What's in your shower?
Typical showerheads may be crawling with germs, in particular a kind of germ that can cause lung disease in people with compromised immune systems
For many of us, the shower is a sacred place. It’s where you make yourself come awake in the morning. It’s where you generate your best business ideas. It’s where you escape from “Hey, Mom, can you ….” But a new study finds you may not be showering alone.
As this HealthDay article reports, typical showerheads may be crawling with germs, in particular a kind of germ that can cause lung disease in people with compromised immune systems. The findings are from a new study conducted by the University of Colorado’s department of molecular, cellular and developmental biology and published in September in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers took a look at germs found in 45 showerheads from nine U.S cities. Their findings revealed a variety of bacteria, most of which won’t cause you to become ill. Yet they did find one pesky germ – mycobacteria – that can result in lung disease among some people.
According to the article: “The levels of certain germs that could spell trouble were 100 times above what they were in water before it made its way to the showerhead. The unique thing about showerheads is that the germs could be inhaled. People are unlikely to inhale other kinds of household germs that fit into the category known as biofilms, with the exception of those produced by humidifiers.”
Does this mean you should stop showering? For the sake of those who have to live and work with you, no. But if you’re truly concerned, researchers say there’s always the option of taking a bath instead of a shower. You also can change out your showerheads a few times each year.
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