Biofilm in your shower can spread bacteria.
Turns out Hitchcock isn’t the only reason to fear your shower.
Potentially harmful organisms, known as mycobacteria, could be living in your showerhead.
Mycobacteria are capable of causing nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung infection — and showerheads in particular have been implicated in transmission of the disease. The organisms exist naturally in soil and water, but infection occurs through inhalation.
“The concern about the showerhead is that it does what we call aerosolize, so it makes it in the air. We just breathe in the shower, and you would potentially be breathing in these organisms, and that’s how they would get into the lungs,” said Dr. Barbara Keber, MD, chair of family medicine at Northwell Health’s Glen Cove Hospital in New York.
The pressure and warmth of a showerhead makes it ideal to blast bacteria-containing water particles into the air.
Symptoms of NTM lung infection include chronic or recurring cough, weight loss, fever, and loss of energy.