Do You Know What’s Lurking in Your Showerhead?
When most people do a deep clean, they hunker down and get it all done with over the course of one long weekend. Not me and my husband. We’ve been deep cleaning for what feels like months because every time we start in on cleaning, we get pulled away by one thing or another.
While I wish that our deep clean would just be done with, I’ve found that as we tackle each room, we’re spending more time in it than we would if we tried to get everything done in one weekend and in turn, we’ve been cleaning things that we might not otherwise think to. Things like our showerhead.
Most all of us know what the average keyboard computer has more than 18,000 bacteria smeared all over it, but did you know that your showerhead does, too? Since 2017, researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder have been looking at showerheads and have discovered that showerheads play host to several billion microbes per square centimeter.
What this means is that about half of the particles that come out of a showerhead are small enough to penetrate the deep airways and that each breath we take while we’re showering could be filled with microbes.
In certain parts of the country, there are "hot spots" in places like Southern California, Florida, and New York where "potentially pathogenic mycobacteria" thrive and researchers continue to take a hard look at the role of showerhead bacteria and its relationship to disease transmission.
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder Noah Fierer explains,
Most of those microbes are harmless, but a few are not, and this kind of research is helping us understand how our own actions—from the kinds of water treatment systems we use to the materials in our plumbing—can change the makeup of those microbial communities."
Before you panic and give up showering, Fierer says, "...don’t worry. There is definitely no reason to fear showering.”