Tremendous research shows that showers can be harmful to your health


Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM)

(Full Article Here)  Unlike tuberculosis (TB), which is spread from person to person, nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections are not considered contagious. There is no evidence that the infection can be transmitted from one person to another. How and why people become infected with NTM is not clear and the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) causes are still under investigation. Currently there is a "hypothesis" or "theory" about acquiring NTM from a shower. In considering an apparent increase in the number of NTM lung disease cases seen over the past 25 years, it has been noted by researchers in the field, such as Dr. Pace in Boulder and Dr. Falkinham in Virginia, that NTMs may be commonly recovered from home water systems. We speculate that in the recent past people tend to take showers rather than bathe in a tub, and when showering in a closed stall the concentration of NTMs could be higher. Additionally, to save energy, water heaters have lower temperatures now, which could allow more NTM growth in the water. These are preliminary findings and further research is required to confirm these theories. Additionally, there are newer data to indicate that aspiration of water that we drink associated with reflux may be an additional way that mycobacteria gain access to the lungs and causes disease. 


Is Your Shower Harmful 
To Your Health?

(Full Article Here)  NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You expect a hot shower to be potentially the cleanest place in your home, but it could be putting your health  at risk. Your bathroom may be breeding dangerous bacteria, and doctors say this “shower sickness” known as nontuberculous mycobacteria – or “NTM” – starts when you turn on the water. “They are small bacteria , they cause disease in humans,” said Dr. Joe Falkinham, a professor of biological sciences at Virginia Tech. “Pulmonary disease.” You don’t just contract this illness from the shower – it can come from any water. “Humans are surrounded by these organisms,” Falkinham said. As household water became cleaner, most bacteria were killed off. But NTM bacteria are extremely resilient and now more and more people are becoming sick as the bacteria silently destroys lung tissue. “We’ve had 400 patients, 400 different patients with [NTM],” said pulmonologist Dr. David Kamelhar. However, most healthy people are not susceptible to the bacteria, Kamelhar said. Oddly, women are more at risk, as are those with a history of lung and bronchial problems. The elderly and people with compromised immune systems are also more at risk. Dr. Falkinham said simply taking off any shower head will reveal the source of some of the trouble.