September 15, 2009
Dangerous microbe thrives in shower heads
Shower heads are a perfect environment for a dangerous bacteria related to tuberculosis, University of Colorado researchers said.
Mycobacterium avium thrives in wet, dark environments and can invade the lungs when sprayed from a shower head, the researchers said in a release Tuesday.
Unfortunately, shower heads have nooks and crannies that make them hard to clean. Products with bleach can temporarily remove many microbes, but they just grow back, Colorado researcher Leah Feazel said.
Feazel recommends changing shower heads two to four times a year or switching to a metal shower head and letting the water run a few minutes to flush out pathogens. Bathing is a option because the water droplets are too large to penetrate the lungs, she said.