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Are you bathing in bacteria?

Can taking a shower be hazardous to your health? Perhaps so, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

We’re not talking about anything as mundane as slipping and falling in a wet, soapy shower stall. Nope, this is much creepier. We’re talking about invisible microbes that live inside your shower head and bombard you in aerosolized form as you bathe.

(Cue the ominous music …)

Shower “Shower aerosol particles can be sufficiently small to carry bacteria deep into the airways,” according to a group of researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Unsuspecting shower-takers could be placing themselves at risk for contracting asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary diseases. Some scientists have even speculated that a recent rise in certain kinds of bacterial infections can be traced to the increasing popularity of showers instead of baths.

(Editor's note - there is a great quote at the end of this article; "In our daily lives, we humans move through a sea of microbial life that is seldom perceived.")

Comments (1)

  1. Echoing Jere Sanborn's comment (left on the articles originating page via link), you left out what matters most to me here, what can I do!? Changing to baths is not the solution so what can I do to protect myself better? A once a month bleach soak? Or this is coming via the water shooting into my face and therefore it will always really be present. If it is accumulating in the shower head then certainly a bleach soak would help a lot? That said, I agree that we, as humans, have good natural defenses and if I worried about all of these type articles I'd go insane. I guess this one connects with me because I recently wondered about this on my own and actually performed a bleach soak of my shower head. It looks like I'll just be working that same procedure into my normal bathroom cleaning regime.

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