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Showers pose 'health risk'

15th September 2009

The quest for cleanliness by taking a daily shower could well be bad for your health, according to new research.

Analysis of 50 showerheads from across seven states in the US showed that 30 per cent of the devices harboured significant levels of bacteria linked to pulmonary disease.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder indicated that levels of mycobacterium avium - a pathogen that usually infects people with compromised immune systems - are particularly high in shower heads.

Levels were found to be more than 100 times those in municipal water systems in some cases, according to the findings published in the September edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

CU-Boulder Professor Norman Pace 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.'

Showers do not appear to be good for children's health either, according to figures from the Nationwide Children's Hospital Center.

Data showed that nearly 43,000 US children per year end up in emergency departments following a slip in the shower or bath.

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