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Author Topic: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some  (Read 2171 times)

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Offline WillyWump

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Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« on: September 15, 2009, 11:09:03 AM »
Interesting study out of University of Colorado....


http://www.kvue.com/news/top/stories/091509kvue_dirty-showerheads-eh.180fc5c8a.html

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- In what may be the scariest shower news since Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," a study says showerheads can harbor tiny bacteria that come spraying into your face when you wash. People with normal immune systems have little to fear, but these microbes could be a concern for folks with cystic fibrosis or AIDS, people who are undergoing cancer treatment or those who have had a recent organ transplant.

Researchers at the University of Colorado tested 45 showers in five states as part of a larger study of the microbiology of air and water in homes, schools and public buildings. They report their shower findings in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In general, is it dangerous to take showers? "Probably not, if your immune system is not compromised in some way," lead author Norman R. Pace says. "But it's like anything else - there is a risk associated with it."

The researchers offer suggestions for the wary, such as getting all-metal showerheads, which microbes have a harder time clinging to.

Still, showerheads are full of nooks and crannies, making them hard to clean, the researchers note, and the microbes come back even after treatment with bleach.

People who have filtered showerheads could replace the filter weekly, added co-author Laura K. Baumgartner. And, she said, baths don't splash microbes into the air as much as showers, which blast them into easily inhaled aerosol form.

It doesn't seem as frightening as the famous murder-in-the-shower scene in Hitchcock's classic 1960 movie. But it's something to be reckoned with all the same.

The bugs in question are Mycobacterium avium, which have been linked to lung disease in some people.

Indeed, studies by the National Jewish Hospital in Denver suggest increases in pulmonary infections in the United States in recent decades from species like M. avium may be linked to people taking more showers and fewer baths, according to Pace.

Symptoms of infection can include tiredness, a persistent, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness and "generally feeling bad," he said.

Showerheads were sampled at houses, apartment buildings and public places in New York, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee and North Dakota.

The researchers sampled water flowing from the showerheads, then removed them, swabbed the interiors of the devices and separately sampled water flowing from the pipes without the showerheads.

By studying the DNA of the samples they were able to determine which bacteria were present.

They found that the bacteria tended to build up in the showerhead, where they were much more common than in the incoming feed water.

Most of the water samples came from municipal water systems in cities such as New York and Denver, but the team also looked at showerheads in four rural homes supplied by private wells. No M. avium were found in those showerheads, though some other bacteria were.

In previous work, the same research team has found M. avium in soap scum on vinyl shower curtains and above the water surface of warm therapy pools.

And stay tuned. Other studies under way by Pace's team include analyses of air in New York subways, hospital waiting rooms, office buildings and homeless shelters.

The research was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Virginia Tech microbiologist Joseph O. Falkinham welcomed the findings, saying M. avium can be a danger because in a shower "the organism is aerosolized where you can inhale it."

In addition to people with weakened immune systems, Falkinham also cited studies showing increased M. avium infections in slender, elderly people who have a single gene for cystic fibrosis, but not the disease itself.

Two copies of the gene are needed to get cystic fibrosis, but having just one copy may result in increased vulnerability to M. avium infection as people age, said Falkinham, who was not part of Pace's research team.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 11:29:55 AM »
I've always immediately bought and installed a new shower head in any apartment I've had, mostly because I prefer having one of those kinds with a 6 ft flexible handheld cord that makes it easy to clean my butthole.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Basquo

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2009, 12:29:15 PM »
Quote
Virginia Tech microbiologist Joseph O. Falkinham welcomed the findings, saying M. avium can be a danger because in a shower "the organism is aerosolized where you can inhale it."

Now why in the wide wide world of journalism would somebody write "welcomed the findings" in this instance? That's just not right.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 12:46:59 PM »
WOW, I just noticed the "welcomed the findings"! That's F'd up!!!

-Will ( who is donning his scuba equipment in preparation for his mornng shower)
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Offline mecch

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 01:15:22 PM »
Plus, they found antibiotic resistant bacteria in 1/2 the public beaches in California.
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline David_CA

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 01:33:01 PM »
I've always immediately bought and installed a new shower head in any apartment I've had, mostly because I prefer having one of those kinds with a 6 ft flexible handheld cord that makes it easy to clean my butthole.

I'm sure that showerhead harbors all sorts of 'other' bacteria after such use, too!  I'd think it'd be better to have a separate shower hose 'attachment' for those bodily places.   ;)
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 01:48:45 PM »
I'm sure that showerhead harbors all sorts of 'other' bacteria after such use, too!  I'd think it'd be better to have a separate shower hose 'attachment' for those bodily places.   ;)

Barbara please.  My turds are white and my asshole smells like roses.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline bocker3

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2009, 04:03:39 PM »
I think this is another instance of a "finding" that may be interesting in scientific circles, but at the end of the day there are bacteria EVERYWHERE that could be dangerous to those with compromised immune systems.  Many of them on your very own person.
You can't get away from bacteria and these sorts of articles simply strike fear in folks and serve little purpose.  If you are that worried -- stick your showerhead in a bleach solution from time to time (don't use straight bleach or you'll be changing that showerhead quite a bit).

Oh and one more thing.....  isn't "tiny bacteria" a bit redundant??  Has anyone ever seen a "large" one???

Mike
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Offline David_CA

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2009, 04:29:38 PM »
Barbara please.  My turds are white and my asshole smells like roses.
You're saying your ass is white and your asshole looks like a rosebud?  What?
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
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You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2009, 04:39:38 PM »
tee hee
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline PozBrian

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2009, 07:04:44 PM »
So assuming one wanted to do something about this, would soaking the shower head in bleach, or CLR perhaps kill the bacteria? ???

BTW I think the "welcome finding" bit is not that they are glad there is bacteria there, rather knowing about it you can do something about it, if it is a problem for you. ::)
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Offline GNYC09

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2009, 07:24:34 PM »
I read that the water that first comes out when you first turn your shower on contains the most bacteria (up to 100x more than in regular water).  Sadly, several people have caught Legionnaire's disease (a few died) from contaminated showers. Sources: here and here

Offline confidentIwillbeOK

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Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2009, 09:04:02 PM »
Saw this story on the screens in the elevator at work today and I just knew someone would post it here.   ;)

I agree with Mike....probably very little pertinence to most people.

What a fine specimen in the pic in link one...damn! Even if that was the nastiest shower head in the world I would jump in there with him anytime.   ;D

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Study: Showerheads may harbor tiny bacteria dangerous to some
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2009, 02:27:37 AM »
What kind of company or office building subjects workers to such things in elevators! Geez
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

 


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