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Taking Showers Can Be Harmful To Your Health

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the healthiest-guy-alive dept.

Medicine 431

TheClockworkSoul writes "According to both the BBC and NewScientist, showering may be bad for your health. Apparently, dirty shower heads can be an ideal breeding ground for Mycobacterium avium, a bug responsible for a type of pulmonary disease more prevalent than tuberculosis in developed countries, cases of which have risen in parallel with the rise in showering. Tests revealed nearly a third of devices harbor significant levels of the critter."

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does CLR kill it? (4, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | about 5 years ago | (#29427037)

they keep dipping the shower heads in that stuff and it's magically shiny! maybe it'll kill bugs too?

Re:does CLR kill it? (3, Interesting)

joaommp (685612) | about 5 years ago | (#29427065)

tinfoil hat warning: this is just a new conspiracy from bathtub makers and water suppliers to make us take immersion baths.

Re:does CLR kill it? (-1, Offtopic)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#29427217)

"considered harmful" What!? Like goto?

If I add the keyword backfrom, does it make things better?

Re:does CLR kill it? (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29427165)

Why bother with CLR? That's a lot of effort to keep your showerheads clean and safe.

What I've done to protect myself against this terrifying bacteria is to actively encourage the growth of black mold in my shower, which suppresses bacteria growth.

This has a lot of benefits:

1. Chinks in the grout between tiles are filled automagically with an attractive black growth.
2. I never have to clean hard-to-reach areas, since this is where the mold grows best.
3. My shower is now cute and cuddly due to the "furry" coating on exposed surfaces. It's like a panda bear, except without the bamboo and pointy teeth!

Re:does CLR kill it? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#29427223)

You must be single. Back in the day I had to choose between my friends in the shower or my ability to keep getting laid. It wasn't a hard decision ;)

Re:does CLR kill it? (3, Funny)

MaerD (954222) | about 5 years ago | (#29427277)

You must be single. Back in the day I had to choose between my friends in the shower or my ability to keep getting laid. It wasn't a hard decision ;)

...the mistake here is not having your girlfriend be one of the "friends in the shower". If you find one that's into "group activities" you won't have this issue.

Re:does CLR kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427751)

You must be single. Back in the day I had to choose between my friends in the shower or my ability to keep getting laid. It wasn't a hard decision ;)

...the mistake here is not having your girlfriend be one of the "friends in the shower". If you find one that's into "group activities" you won't have this issue.

I have one (well, wife) that is into group activities - but neither of us like dirty showers, nor is our shower large enough for more than four people. So we typically just stick to bedroom activities.

Re:does CLR kill it? (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29427553)

Back in the day I had to choose between my friends in the shower or my ability to keep getting laid. It wasn't a hard decision ;)

So, enough suspense already! Which one did you pick?

Re:does CLR kill it? (5, Funny)

furby076 (1461805) | about 5 years ago | (#29427443)

See you simply don't care to keep yourself or your family healthy. I change my shower heads, shower pipes, tile, grout, and wetboard once/week. The bathroom manufacturers who came out with this study....err who have HEARD of this study think it is a good idea.

Re:does CLR kill it? (2, Insightful) (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#29427299)

I just take the old-fashioned approach of thoroughly cleaning my shower from overhead to deck. Oh, wait... that's the Navy approach ;). I guess some habits are worth something.

Re:does CLR kill it? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427375)

Friends don't let friends use the CLR, excessive usage can leave you infected with Mono!

Re:does CLR kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427537)

And nobody wants to get infected with .NET!

First shower! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427045)

Worse or better than first post?!

Re:First shower! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 5 years ago | (#29427691)

Actually, even tho you were modded off-topic, you probably have something here...

Simply don't be the first to shower. Problem solved.

Also seems to me that the normal Run it till its hot drill would solve this issue, as any concentration is likely in the first 20 seconds.

Sensationalism (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427047)

Taking showers 'can make you ill'
Showering may be bad for your health, say US scientists

OMG! OMG! Wait, the article goes on to say:

"These bacteria [â¦] rarely cause disease in healthy people. Further work will need to look at whether finding these organisms is associated with any increased risk of infection."

Thanks, BBC.

Re:Sensationalism (5, Funny)

MrNemesis (587188) | about 5 years ago | (#29427605)

As the wonderful Daily Mash [] points out;

"Nevertheless it is better to carry the heady stench of the Gaul than expose yourself to the sort of tiny risks that generate gigantic headlines."

Re:Sensationalism (2, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | about 5 years ago | (#29427661)

True... but rarely is not never. And its not hard to weaken your immune system. Not getting much sleep? Not eating healthy? Got the flu, or maybe just a cold? High stress levels? Bam, weakened immune system. And I know that personally one of the things that I generally do after a long day with little to no sleep or food, when I'm feeling bad... is take a shower.

Re:Sensationalism (1)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | about 5 years ago | (#29427749)


Re:Sensationalism (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 years ago | (#29427791)

I like taking showers. I find them Both Relaxing and Invigorating.

Re:Sensationalism (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 years ago | (#29427773)

and the article glosses over that MOST water supplies in the USA are so heavily chlorinated, that the chance of this happening are nearly ZERO.

So if you have well water, you're hosed.

Re:Sensationalism (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 5 years ago | (#29427793)

No kidding. MAC pretty much only causes problems in immunocompromised people (eg, people with HIV, cancer and on chemo, etc.).

Study funded by? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#29427051)

Kohler? Seems kind of wasteful to say "through it away" rather than clean it...

Cleaning helps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427055)

That's why you clean them eh?

Who would have guessed? (5, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | about 5 years ago | (#29427057)

I guess a couple of co-workers are actually just taking good care of their health. I'm pretty sure one of them doesn't come anywhere near this bacterium more than twice a year.

Re:Who would have guessed? (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | about 5 years ago | (#29427153)

And if the bacterium accidentally finds itself on the aforementioned co-workers' skin, they wouldn't be able to establish a beachhead against the aggressive pre-existing community already there.

We're all microbiomes; some of us are just more... lush.

Secretly, some geeks knew... (3, Funny)

arhhook (995275) | about 5 years ago | (#29427061)

Secretly, some geeks knew this all along, hiding from the masses the real reasons they didn't shower. Now their cover is blown!

oh great (4, Funny)

sxedog (824351) | about 5 years ago | (#29427067)

now there will be more smelly IT nerds walking around. Wait.... nevermind

Gentlemen, start your start-ups (2, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 5 years ago | (#29427071)

Creation of showerhead disinfection industry in 3...2...1...

Re:Gentlemen, start your start-ups (4, Funny)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | about 5 years ago | (#29427159)

The telcos are way ahead in this field, they've had telephone sanitisers for years.

Re:Gentlemen, start your start-ups (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | about 5 years ago | (#29427715)

The telcos are way ahead in this field, they've had telephone sanitisers for years.

Note to self: Better get started on that B Ark... So when's the giant space goat coming to eat us again?

Re:Gentlemen, start your start-ups (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | about 5 years ago | (#29427171)

Creation of showerhead disinfection industry in 3...2...1...

Umm, it's called Clorox.

Ahh sweet vindication (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29427077)

Finally the medical community is backing my position on showers ... and I know it's just a matter of time before some new study proves I'm right about the Doritos and climbing the basement stairs.

Re:Ahh sweet vindication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427363)

A new study today found that eating two large bags of Doritos a day helps fight off bacteria found in showerheads.

Re:Ahh sweet vindication (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29427753)

A new study today found that eating two large bags of Doritos a day increases the profits of Frito-Lay.

hmmm (4, Interesting)

Rip Dick (1207150) | about 5 years ago | (#29427085)

I know most people, myself included, run the water for a minute or two before stepping into the shower. (Due to the time it takes for the water to heat up, etc.) Would this help avoid getting sprayed with a build up of bacteria or is the stream of germs constant? Also, hot water + soap + friction can kill a lot of germs, wouldn't the fact that you're already showering help the situation?

Re:hmmm (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29427115)

Also, hot water + soap + friction can kill a lot of germs, wouldn't the fact that you're already showering help the situation?

That doesn't kill germs. It just helps remove them from your skin.

Besides the concern for pulmonary disease is that you inhale water droplets with these germs inside them. I highly doubt that you use soap + hot water + friction inside your lungs (but if you do, you're more of a man than I).

Re:hmmm (5, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | about 5 years ago | (#29427193)

From the (somewhat incomplete) information in TFA, I think you're right that running the water before stepping in helps. Not sure about whether the fact you're taking a shower at the time matters, as the concern is inhaled bacteria.

It also seems that metal shower heads are not as bad as plastic.

Oh, and the bacteria in question are opportunistic - healthy people rarely get sick from them. So maybe it makes sense to give small children more baths than showers (which is what my family always did when I was growing up anyway); to consider taking baths when sick; and to consider what this implies for care of the elderly.

Other than that, this just seems a bit over-hyped. (Not seeing what the comparison to TB adds to the story beyond sensationalism, for example.)

Re:hmmm (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29427351)

err, not always :
"Showers have also been identified as a route for spreading other infectious diseases, including a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease and chest infections with a bacterium called Pseudomonas aeruginosa."

However the headline should be:

"Showering with dirty shower heads may be bad for your health."

Re:hmmm (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 years ago | (#29427471)

Probably removing and dipping the shower head in some bleach every now and then will also help.

Re:hmmm (1)

slimshady945 (1553213) | about 5 years ago | (#29427455)

They can also infect by being swallowed, so don't drink the shower water, or maybe even brush your teeth with it.

Re:hmmm (1)

furby076 (1461805) | about 5 years ago | (#29427501)

If the water were hot enough to kill the germs you would be screaming like Jamie "The Scream Queen" Lee Curtis. Then you would be hospitalized.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427089)

Living in a house is bad for your health! A dirty house can spread all sorts of deadly bacterium.
Cooking in a kitchen is bad for your health! A dirty kitchen can be a breeding ground for deadly bacterium.
Your hands are bad for your health! Dirty hands can be a breeding ground for deadly bacterium.

Yes dirty things are breeding grounds for stuff that kills you. No one is surprised.
-Worst Headline Ever.

Now what? (1)

Haxzaw (1502841) | about 5 years ago | (#29427121)

So showers are unhealthy, and I'm sure laying around in a tub full of dirty water taking a bath is unhealthy, so what's left, a sponge bath?

Re:Now what? (5, Funny)

joaommp (685612) | about 5 years ago | (#29427139)

sponge baths, given by sexy barely legal nurses in underwear, now that's healthy, in more than one sense of the word.

Re:Now what? (4, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | about 5 years ago | (#29427687)

sponges are also full of germs. better stick to a good hand-rubbing. ;-)

Re:Now what? (1)

justthisdude (779510) | about 5 years ago | (#29427491)

Next they will be saying that sonic showers cause tinnitus...

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427125)

Tests revealed nearly a third of devices harbor significant levels of the critter."

There, FTFY

And I heard from a different source that you only need to worry if you are immunocompromised, i.e. AIDS and such.

Thanks, Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427127)

The average Slashdotter has to be physically threatened to make them wash in the first place, now you're giving them an excuse NOT to? Brilliant. OMFG the smell!

Nothing to see here, move along... (4, Insightful)

CmdrPorno (115048) | about 5 years ago | (#29427131)

Germs are EVERYWHERE. Hospitals do all kinds of disinfection that you wouldn't and couldn't do in your own home, and people still get staph infections.

Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (2, Informative)

TheClockworkSoul (1635769) | about 5 years ago | (#29427289)

Germs are EVERYWHERE. Hospitals do all kinds of disinfection that you wouldn't and couldn't do in your own home, and people still get staph infections.

While true there are germs everywhere, this is actually a tad more than nothing. First, this isn't a generic brand germ, it's a pretty well-known lung pathogen (a weakling cousin of TB, actually). Second, it seems to like forming biofilms inside shower heads, so the water that comes out has two orders of magnitude more critters than your average point in "everywhere".

Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#29427635)

Many hospital staph infections are due to the over-sanitation of surfaces. Bacteria will become largely immune to many disinfectants and become "super bugs"; additionally, it will latch onto the hosts due to it being a much more receptive surface than something which has been disinfected.

Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#29427701)

Arguably people get staph infections in hospitals because hospitals put so much effort into sterilizing every little thing. It leaves the hardiest, and fastest spreading bacteria and viruses to fill the vacuum rather than the millions of common germs that our body knows how to deal with. They've done studies which show a less rigorous sterilization regiment can actually reduce the rate of infections but the whole 'germs are evil' mindset prevents hospitals from actually changing their behavior.

paranoia (1)

jihiggs (1611261) | about 5 years ago | (#29427135)

by this study, one could also conclude that this same bacteria would grow in the head of one of those acrobatic water things on the kitchen sink, and the hose extension to the kitchen sink. I use both regularly and ingest a significant ammount of the water from those devices. I should have a lot of health problems if this were really a problem.

Re:paranoia (1)

Starcub (527362) | about 5 years ago | (#29427331)

Stationary water = prone to problems. I was taught as a youngster to turn on the faucet and wait 15 seconds before drinking. Nowadays, I drink mostly bottled water. Local and eviro-friendly packaging if possible/affordable.

Re:paranoia (2, Informative)

Volante3192 (953645) | about 5 years ago | (#29427373)

In defense of the article, it's not imbibing these germs, it's inhaling them. The force of the water coming out spreads the bugs around getting them into the air which you breathe in. I'd wager, without bothering to look it up, that either HCl is not a plesent environment for these or they just can't attach to anything in the digestive system as opposed to the resporatory system.

Re:paranoia (1)

jihiggs (1611261) | about 5 years ago | (#29427527)

ah, that does make sense.

So the cure is... (0)

Theodore (13524) | about 5 years ago | (#29427143)

(well, that and spending an extra $5 for a metal showerhead).

Seriously, who does that anyway?
You have to get the temperature right first, flip the switch, THEN you can get in the shower.

Re:So the cure is... (1)

xorsyst (1279232) | about 5 years ago | (#29427509)

What about communal push-button showers in the gym/swimming pool changing room, then?

Re:So the cure is... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 5 years ago | (#29427735)

don't be the first to use it on any given day.

Re:So the cure is... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 years ago | (#29427789)

dont drop the soap.

Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427169)

Stallman will live forever!

shower vs. immersion baths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427173)

I might consider an Immersion bath if the blasted tub wasn't so dang small I mean come on how the heck am I, at 6feet and 4 inches tall, supposed to get my body into a 5 foot tub.

Re:shower vs. immersion baths (1)

furby076 (1461805) | about 5 years ago | (#29427531)

I might consider an Immersion bath if the blasted tub wasn't so dang small I mean come on how the heck am I, at 6feet and 4 inches tall, supposed to get my body into a 5 foot tub.

Bend your legs. What you really meant to say "I mean come on how the heck am I, at 350 lbs of fat, supposed to get my body into a 2.5 foot wide tub"

bathing (1)

fran6gagne (1467469) | about 5 years ago | (#29427209)

I guess bathing in your own dirt, germs and whatever else that crawl in your bath is better... Soon we'll have to dry clean ourselve to avoid all the shit they find everyday.

Safe (1)

clemdoc (624639) | about 5 years ago | (#29427213)

No shower in my basement.

is it really a problem... (1)

fataugie (89032) | about 5 years ago | (#29427233)

For geeks in general?

Not from where I sit (downwind).

Title is misleading... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 5 years ago | (#29427261)

I read this blog yesterday on and I can tell you straight up that the title here on slashdot is very misleading.

It sounds a little too exaggerated.

Mod up!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427643)

+5 informative

Bad water... (1, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 5 years ago | (#29427263)

The poster presented this as true everywhere, at least deceptively implied it is so. The reality is this is only going to be true where the water isn't properly sanitized, in the US the clean water act requires cities, counties and water authorities to insure the water is properly sanitized before delivery. Most US systems are designed to have residual chlorine all the way to delivery (if you are worried about it let the water sit for 5 min before you drink it and the minimal chlorine will leach out of the water, or you can have an in home filtration system that will strip the chlorine before delivery to the drinking taps).

The only place this bacteria could grow in shower heads would be countries that don't require that the potable water be properly sterilized at delivery. That doesn't include the US and I doubt it includes any European country or Japan or any developed country for that mater that has clean water rules.

Re:Bad water... (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29427523)

My water comes straight from a well right here by my house. There is minimal filtration, and no treatment, and I happen to be in the United States (the minimum filtration I am referring to is the screen I am guessing the well has, and the aerators on the various faucets...).

Re:Bad water... (3, Interesting)

default luser (529332) | about 5 years ago | (#29427573)

Not true, this is an opportunistic bacteria that lives in stagnant water. It can find the stagnant water without being introduced through the water supply (through air or other contamination). Since a person with dirty hair is only inches away from the shower, it's not hard to see how it might get contaminated. In the same way it can get inside your lungs (aerosol), it can also get inside your shower head.

The shower head is sitting idle most of the day, and since the chlorine in the water quickly dissipates in air, the water left remaining when you turn the shower off is quite welcoming to the bug. Yeah, it gets hit with chlorinated water at least once a day (you do shower regularly, right?), but the amount of chlorine in the water at-delivery is way too little to kill entrenched bacteria (that happens at the treatment plant, with much higher concentrations of chlorine, and UV treatments). You might kill a small amount, but the strong survive.

This is a real problem - it's already known that sources of stagnant water can be breeding grounds for Legionnaire's Disease [] , so why not yet-another lung infection?

Re:Bad water... (2, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 5 years ago | (#29427809)

If the shower is run once a day the residual chlorine would sterilize any colony before it could establish. If the shower isn't run once a day and properly drains the environment won't remain wet enough long enough for the colony to establish. The only time a colony could establish such that the residual wouldn't kill it is if the shower isn't used daily and doesn't drain properly. Even then I doubt it could effectively establish because the amount of food in the water for the bacteria is going to be near zero, at least for properly treated water. The BOD (Biologic Oxygen Demand) requirements for potable water are very very low in the US. Only the water systems that are the worst of the worst (no residual chlorine, high BOD) in the US would even have the possibility and then you need a bad shower head and infrequent showering to make this happen. The probability is very low IMO.

Re:Bad water... (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#29427615)

I know that in some places in the US, they've only recently gotten water chlorination systems hooked up to the mains. Additionally, a lot of places (largely rural ones) still utilize wells for their water, so there will be no chlorination. I'd not be surprised if as much as 1/3rd of the households out there are in remote/non-mains water.

A solution? (1)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | about 5 years ago | (#29427265)

Wouldn't it be better if they provided some information on avoiding the potential infection apart from 'not showering'?

Doesn't not showering harbor other kinds of health risks?

Re:A solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427409)

Oh for cthulu's sake, take the damn showerhead off and CLEAN it!

Sounds like (1)

jockeys (753885) | about 5 years ago | (#29427271)

my shower head needs a shower.

Yeah and... (1)

Gusfm (1157321) | about 5 years ago | (#29427293)

...not taking shower can be harmful to your social life ;)

Dear Slashdotters (4, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | about 5 years ago | (#29427323)

This article does NOT mean you have an excuse to cease bathing.

This article also does not provide justification for the cessation of: tooth brushing, hair cutting, shaving, fingernail clipping, or deodorant usage.


And the relevance to /.'ers is...??? (1)

duh_lime (583156) | about 5 years ago | (#29427377)

need I say more?

Suprisingly light on details for the BBC (4, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | about 5 years ago | (#29427389)

I have so many questions that this article doesn't answer.

1) Where was the sample taken? UK showers? World wide? Third world countries?
2) Is there an information on different kinds of shower heads? for example, is this more common on massaging heads, low flow/high pressure heads, etc?
3) Does hot water kill this bacteria? Is it more common for people who take colder showers than people who take hot ones?
4) I always start the shower first before getting under it, since it takes about 5+ seconds to warm up... any ideas if this affects infection? (Thats more of a study question than a question from the article).
5) Any real way to prevent the growth? Someone already asked if CLR kills it. If this is so common, mind telling me how I can help myself?

I've never read a BBC article that left me with more questions.

Re:Suprisingly light on details for the BBC (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | about 5 years ago | (#29427483)

At least in regards to your first question.

"When the researchers swabbed and tested 50 shower heads from nine cities in seven different states in the US, including New York City and Denver, they found 30% of the devices posed a potential risk."


Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427391)

I've been saying this for years! Now excuse me, my mom is calling from upstairs.

Did low flow kill my momma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29427429)

My mom had a cough a few years back and a test came back indicative of a MAI infection. A different species of bacertia, but considered a part of the MAC complex.

Was curious as the where she may have gotten it. Maybe the cats litter box? Talked with the doc and he said this stuff is everywhere, in the air, in the dirt, on the plants. We are basically constantly challenged by this stuff all our lives and it only becomes a problem when disease or age compromises our immune system.

And he added needless to say, anything that aerosolizes this stuff is not so good, so we might want to look at the bathroom (where the litter box also happens to be). He mentioned the Lany Windermere syndrome and hot tub lung, so the idea that hot water and bad bacteria could lead to a steamy entry point of the lungs is well established.

My own useless theory is that whole problem is the low-flow shower heads that are precisely designed to better aerosolize a spray of water with less physical flow. This along with the change to more plastic parts may have made things worse.

Clearly, some further study and redesigns may be in order.


This is why I only take baths (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 5 years ago | (#29427441)

in a tub of Clorox. Pretty much guaranteed not to find any bacteria in there :P

Are they extra healthy in France? (2, Funny)

RPGonAS400 (956583) | about 5 years ago | (#29427459)

Between red wine for the health of it and no showers no wonder the worlds oldest person in recent history was that 121 year old French woman.

I just took a shower! (1)

pikine (771084) | about 5 years ago | (#29427467)

Then you tell me that?! *cough*

This isn't an issue for me... (1)

babywhiz (781786) | about 5 years ago | (#29427479)

My shower head breaks every 4 months, and I have to replace it.....although TFA doesn't mention how long it takes for this bacteria to build up....

A possible solution (1)

Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) | about 5 years ago | (#29427489)

is an entirely new shower head design which incorporates a Venturi tube drawing from an antibacterial cleanser reservoir. Clean and decontaminate without having to store bottles / bars within the stall. As an added bonus, if you formulated the cleanser correctly it could also act as a hands-free shower stall cleaner.

George Carlin said it best (1, Interesting)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | about 5 years ago | (#29427495)

From 'You Are All Diseased':

Where did this sudden fear of germs come from in this country? Have you noticed this? The media constantly running stories about all the latest infections? Salmonella, E-coli, hanta virus, bird flu, and Americans will panic easily so everybody's running around scrubbing this and spraying that and overcooking their food and repeatedly washing their hands, trying to avoid all contact with germs. It's ridiculous and it goes to ridiculous lengths.

In prisons, before they give you lethal injection, they swab your arm with ALCOHOL. Wouldn't want some guy to go to hell AND be sick.Fear of germs, why these fuckin' pussies. You can't even get a decent hamburger anymore they cook the shit out of everything now 'cause everyone's afraid of FOOD POISONING! Hey, wheres you sense of adventure? Take a fuckin' chance will you? Hey you know how many people die of food poisoning in this country? Nine thousand, thats all, its a minor risk.

Take a fuckin' chance bunch of goddamn pussies.Besides, what d'ya think you have an immune system for? It's for killing germs! But it needs practice, it needs germs to practice on. So if you kill all the germs around you, and live a completely sterile life, then when germs do come along, you're not gonna be prepared. And never mind ordinary germs, what are you gonna do when some super virus comes along that turns your vital organs into liquid shit?! I'll tell you what your gonna do ... you're gonna get sick. You're gonna die and your gonna deserve it because you're fucking weak and you got a fuckin' weak immune system!

Let me tell you a true story about immunization ok. When I was a little boy in New York city in the nineteen-forties, we swam in the Hudson river. And it was filled with raw sewage! OK? We swam in raw sewage, you know, to cool off. And at that time the big fear was polio. Thousands of kids died from polio every year. But you know something? In my neighborhood no one ever got polio. No one! EVER! You know why? Cause WE SWAM IN RAW SEWAGE! It strengthened our immune system, the polio never had a prayer. We were tempered in raw shit!

So personally I never take any precautions against germs. I don't shy away from people who sneeze and cough. I don't wipe off the telephone, I don't cover the toilet seat, and if I drop food on the floor I pick it up and eat it!Even if I'm at side walk cafe! IN CALCUTTA! THE POOR SECTION! ON NEW YEARS MORNING DURING A SOCCER RIOT! And you know something? In spite of all the so called "risky behavior ".... I never get infections. I don't get em. I don't get colds, I don't get flu, I don't get headaches, I don't get upset stomach, And you know why? Cause I got a good strong immune system! And it gets a lot of practice!

My immune system is equipped with the biological equivalent of fully automatic military assault rifles, with night vision and laser scopes. And we have recently acquired phosphorous grenades, cluster bombs and anti personnel fragmentation mines.

So, when my white blood cells are on patrol reconnoitering my blood stream seeking out strangers and other undesirables, and if they see any, ANY, suspicious looking germs of any kind, THEY DON'T. FUCK. AROUND. They whip out the weapons, they wax the motherfucker and deposit the unlucky fellow directly into my colon! Into my colon. There's no nonsense! There's no miranda warning, there's none of that three strikes and your out bullshit. First defense, BAM! Into the colon you go!

Re:George Carlin said it best (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | about 5 years ago | (#29427741)

Two words:

"Survivorship bias"

well (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | about 5 years ago | (#29427543)

Bacteria would not be harboring around if people would actually clean their shower and shower head once in a while with bleach and/or CLR; or completely change out the shower head out with a new one every two years.

not to be stereotypical here but... (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 5 years ago | (#29427563)

Not to be stereotypical here but I don't shower regularly right now, on account of the whole "unemployed, no need to interact with people right now" part of my life.

After a couple "cycles" of only showering once every other/third day, my body acclimated to the different bathing. I found/find that my skin is, overall, much clearer (lifelong acme sufferer) as well as substantially less oily. I no longer feel like there's grease in my eyes by the time I go to bed, and my skin feels 'healthier'.

I wonder if routine shower cleaning would help fix the problem? I'd think that the chlorine in the water would help dissuade bacteria from growing. I wonder if that 1/3rd can be accounted for by low chlorine levels, or well water? We have non-chlorinated well water here, as do both my parents and grandmother, all in different parts of the country.

Re:not to be stereotypical here but... (4, Funny)

TheABomb (180342) | about 5 years ago | (#29427705)

(lifelong acme sufferer)

Ah, but how often do coyotes normally shower?

Details? Who needs details? (2, Informative)

TheClockworkSoul (1635769) | about 5 years ago | (#29427565)

For those craving details, the original article can be found here [] .

Here's a copy of the abstract, for my fellow bio nerds:

The environments we humans encounter daily are sources of exposure to diverse microbial communities, some of potential concern to human health. In this study, we used culture-independent technology to investigate the microbial composition of biofilms inside showerheads as ecological assemblages in the human indoor environment. Showers are an important interface for human interaction with microbes through inhalation of aerosols, and showerhead waters have been implicated in disease. Although opportunistic pathogens commonly are cultured from shower facilities, there is little knowledge of either their prevalence or the nature of other microorganisms that may be delivered during shower usage. To determine the composition of showerhead biofilms and waters, we analyzed rRNA gene sequences from 45 showerhead sites around the United States. We find that variable and complex, but specific, microbial assemblages occur inside showerheads. Particularly striking was the finding that sequences representative of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and other opportunistic human pathogens are enriched to high levels in many showerhead biofilms, >100-fold above background water contents. We conclude that showerheads may present a significant potential exposure to aerosolized microbes, including documented opportunistic pathogens. The health risk associated with showerhead microbiota needs investigation in persons with compromised immune or pulmonary systems.

CU Boulder (4, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | about 5 years ago | (#29427653)

This is all based on a study out of CU Boulder. As a Denver resident, I can attest that the dirty hippies at CU Boulder are on a never-ending quest to justify their poor hygiene. Don't be fooled! Shower every day!


It's all covered with germs! (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 5 years ago | (#29427663)

Germs! []

Sure cure... (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | about 5 years ago | (#29427679)

Just remove the shower head, and let it dry. Then, into the pipe end pour some cherry kool-aid powder.

A Victory for Open Source! (3, Funny)

wsanders (114993) | about 5 years ago | (#29427693)

I declare this a victory for Open Source. Now - on to making beards, sandals with black socks, and red suspenders fashionable again!

Don't Forget Legionnaire's Disease... (1)

logistic (717955) | about 5 years ago | (#29427697)

MAC is a pretty ubiquitous organism and clearly and emerging infection not only in the immunocompromised.
For people who live in older large buildings, legionnaire's is more likely to be a serious infection.
So much so that in many areas hospitals have to check their water regularly for it's presence to prevent outbreaks.

Legionnaire's it's not just from air conditioners anymore...

sensationalism, again (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 5 years ago | (#29427815)

"For most people, taking a shower is not dangerous, but if you are immune compromised, such as the elderly or pregnant, it could be,"

He then says to not use plastic shower heads. But they are all plastic if you have the detachable hose kind useful for washing your hair or your children. Now while the effects sound scary [] in the wikipedia entry, is this killing healthy children? Parents are so paranoid, and they don't need a bunch of misinformation or half-truths to cause them to panic and either replace all their showerheads or quit letting their older kids take showers.

The article is light on information and facts, and high on scary words.

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