In a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, shower heads were found to contain bacteria potentially dangerous to those that had weakened immune systems. Moreover, the researchers found that not only will cleaning with bleach not kill the bacteria, but in one case the levels were found to be three times higher post cleaning. 

While the risk to those in good health is low, the question remains how can a shower head effectively be cleaned?
Shower Head Cleaning TipsAccording to an FAQ document provided by Laura K. Baumgartner, Ph.D., a researcher who worked the project, shower heads are full of nooks and crannies that provide an ideal home for bacteria and other microbes. This also makes cleaning them very hard. Even though products with bleach remove many microbes, these mycobacteria grow back (and chlorination does not keep them out) after cleaning.
For most people, this is not really a concern. If you are immune compromised, you might want to consider changing out your shower head regularly. Additionally, microbes attach more easily to plastics than metal - if you are concerned, you may want to hunt down an all-metal (not metal-coated plastic) shower head.
However, Baumgartner suggests that people who have an immune issue (or are otherwise concerned) can:
  • Install an all-metal shower head (not metal-coated plastic), as many studies have shown that bacteria attach and grow better on plastic than metal
  • Change out your shower head every six months
  • Install a filtering shower head. There are several designed those that have immune issues such as this shower head, which was found effective in another study.
  • Take baths, which will create fewer aerosols.
Most importantly, the researchers do not believe that taking a shower is dangerous.  The best practice is to simply stay outside of the shower when you first turn it on, as that first blast may contain a higher load of bacteria.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.


Shower heads

So with almost everything causing disease I can take a smoke occassionally Unless caught by the smoking police.
I have always wondered why people took baths..myself included as it ws so comforting..but wondered how can we be cleaning ourselves with the very water we are sitting in?...

You're an idiot

"Your an idiot" is not correct. No wonder other countries are out performing us in education. It should have read, You're or You are.

Lets make ourselves crazy!

Now we find out even our shower has bacteria that can make us sick. When will there be a study about what strange germs our pets are spewing all over our houses since just about everybody has at least 1 or 2 dogs or cats that go around the house and sleep on our beds, too even a lot of people won't admit to it. We bombard ourselves everyday with some filth.If we start obsessing on it we could all go crazy and for me that wouldn't take much.

Badly written article

The second paragraph of this article says, "While to risk to those in good health is low, the question remains how can a showerhead effectively be cleaned?"

Not only is the question not answered, it does not make sense. I believe the question should be, "While the risk to those in good health is low..."

Are these articles proofread before they are published?

Your an idiot

No - I'm afraid you're an idiot, for people who continue to have lung problems this just might help them.

another research panic attack


Urethra Stenosis

The bath products in your bath (whether Avon, Bath & Body or whatever brand) aggravated a condition you were most likely born with know as Urethra Stenosis. The urethra carries the urine from the bladder & out of the body. If that tube(urethra) is too narrow, urine backs up & pockets in the bladder allowing bacteria to form as the urine stagnates. Urologists therefor have to stretch the urethra using metal rods.

Females of all ages should be cautious of using all bath products (even little girls). If you like the hot tub or use a public spa or pool, you also run risks of infection. Best thing is to be on a daily long term antibiotic to help ward off such infections.


speaking of research and who pays for it;........ they recently released the results of a study done on the length of mens ring you know that if your ring finger is longer then your index are an aggressive driver! known fact..........ROFL!!! Truth, I saw it under "wierd news". That is what the government is doing with our tax dollars, giving grants for stupid research that does not help the people in any way.

Showers vs. Bath

I have always loved a nice hot bath. But, then, I kept getting urinary tract infections. After sufferering for a long time and taking RX's, my urologist suggested "no baths". He also said that Avon bath products provided him with more and more clients. I ended up in the hospital getting my urethra dialated to enbable bacteria to flow out easier. That was 7 years ago and I have not had a UTI since. I got a nice shower head with the hose and can take a shower with out washing my hair and it's also great to clean the shower because you can spray it all down. Another thing, they are great to give your pet a shower and reach places you would otherwise not be able to reach. Sounds like an easy solution....just let the water run for a minute and then enter. There are pros and cons to showers vs. baths. I sure hope people don't stop doing it....what a stinky world this would be! FYI: I do have a weak immune system from aterey disease, but I have not have a problem taking and shower...and cleaning the whole shower with Lysol Tub and Tile cleaner. I do sneak in a nice bath now and again, I just don't put in a lot of bubble bath or other type products.

does this apply to drinking water from the tap also

i dont think there are many people who just walk in the shower and turn it on i do believe we like the water hot not cold so we let it run first before getting in people dont need to buy anything doctors will tell you soap and water is good to kill bacteria just buy antibacterial body wash