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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Daily shower 'could be hazardous'

Having a daily shower could be hazardous to your health, for a study says that it delivers a cloud of dangerous germs into your face and lungs.

Researchers at Colorado University have found that showerheads are breeding grounds for bacteria and when water is passed through them, they blast out the bugs, which could cause respiratory problems such as dry coughs.

Lead researcher Norman Pace of said: "If you are getting a face full of water when you first turn your shower on, that means you are probably getting a particularly high load of Mycobacterium avium, which may not be too healthy.

"There have been some precedents for concern regarding pathogens and shower heads. But until this study we did not know just how much concern."

For their study, the researchers tested some 45 shower heads from nine cities across America and found 30 percent contain high amounts of a pathogen -- or organism -- that causes the lung infection mycobacterium avium.

The findings support previous studies suggesting lung infections could be on the rise in the developed world because of increased use of showers, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

Co-researcher Leah Feazel said that taking a bath was a failsafe way of avoiding infection and changing showerheads every few months was also effective.

Stepping outside the room for a minute after turning the shower on can also reduce the likelihood of inhaling germs that get pushed out of the shower head with the first burst of water.

The study has been published in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' journal.

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