Remember how much you enjoyed Christmas, until you learned that Santa was really your parents? Or how much you loved swimming in the ocean, until you saw the movie Jaws? Well, this news may hit you in much the same way....
What feels better than a cool shower in summer? Or a great hot steamer on a cold morning? But guess what. The staccato rhythm of crisp water hits your face making you feel revived, relaxed, rejuvenated... That marvelous source of restoration... water... is contaminating you!
It's not just the gobs of chemicals in your water supply. You're getting a blast of bacteria that can cause lung disease. Though the strain of mycobacterium avium that lives in your shower head is called the 'non-tuberculosis' kind, it can definitely increase susceptibility to pulmonary disease and is considered a risk factor for elderly persons, HIV patients, and others with compromised immune systems.
According to research conducted by the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, the water that comes from shower heads can be up to 100 times more pathogenic than other household water. It seems that shower heads provide nice cozy places for the mycobacterium avium to hang out, establishing themselves as a sticky biofilm in the devices. Turn your shower on and whoa! You are treated with pathogenic water droplets that are released into the air to be inhaled "into the deepest part of your lungs." (Yuck!)
Symptoms from mycobacterium avium only occur occasionally in otherwise healthy people, but include persistent cough, breathlessness and fatigue.
You can do two things to minimize the growth of mycobacterium avium in your shower heads: 1) use metal shower heads, and 2) clean them regularly with a good disinfectant.
Keeping you posted....