Study finds bacteria in shower heads

Study finds bacteria in shower heads

Submitted by David Heffner of Heffner Plumbing in Indianapolis

Mycobacterium avium bacteria has been linked to pulmonary disease. It is believed that healthy people are not at risk, but those who have underlying pulmonary disease and compromised immune systems are. A University of Colorado at Boulder study found that 30 to 40 percent of the shower heads tested in New York, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee and North Dakota had high levels of bacteria.

The spray and mist created from the shower can cause the bacteria to be inhaled deep into the lungs, especially when the water is first turned on. The warm, dark, moist environment of the shower head is a breeding ground for the bacteria.

Lead researcher, Dr. Norman Pace, doesn't recommend that people stop taking showers unless they are at a higher risk due to a compromised immune system. He does recommend that you use a metal shower head over plastic and that you change the shower head a couple of times a year to help eliminate the buildup of bacteria.

David Heffner is a licensed plumbing contractor in the state of Indiana and is bonded and insured. Heffner Plumbing is a highly rated company with Angie’s List and has received the Super Service Award every year since 2004. Heffner received the 2009 Contractor of the Year Award by the Greater Indianapolis Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (GIPHCC).

As of Jan. 27, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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