As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with germs in our homes, said Elizabeth Armstrong Moore in CNET News, now we get to “fret over another perpetrator: the showerhead.” According to a study from the University of Colorado at Boulder, 30 percent of our showerheads host a “slimy biofilm” with unsafe levels of Mycobacterium avium—a pathogen linked to lung disease. You might get a face (and lung) full of it when you turn on the shower.
That’s “bad news for those of you who like to keep clean,” said Doug Aamoth in CrunchGear. But as the Colorado “eggheads” only tested some 50 fixtures in nine cities, “it’s not time to swear off showering altogether just yet.” For those at risk from M. avium, though—pregnant women and people with immune deficiencies—you might want to pick up a new, metal (not plastic) showerhead.
Or start taking baths, said Jennifer LaRue Huget in The Washington Post. Study author Norman Pace posits that the rise in pulmonary infections from M. avium might be due to people taking more showers than baths these days. Healthy, non-pregnant people are probably not at risk, but “the bacteria are impervious to chlorine,” so if you’re at risk, forget the bleach and change heads every so often.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- The rise of the global middle class is our best hope to stop climate change
Subscribe to the Week