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Is your shower making you sick?

CU study: Showerheads douse you with pathogens

By Brittany Anas, Camera Staff Writer

Rub-a-dub-dub — your shower may be spraying you with a face full of potentially pathogenic crud, according to a new University of Colorado study.

Showerheads are full of nooks and crannies that provide an ideal home for bacteria and other microbes, the researchers found.

The scientists analyzed 50-some showerheads from nine cities, including Denver. After removing the showerheads from their piping, and rubbing swabs along the insides, the results showed that about 30 percent of the showerheads harbored significant levels of Mycobacterium avium, a relative of the organism that causes tuberculosis.

M. avium is a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease and most often infects people with compromised immune systems. It can occasionally infect healthy people, too, according to CU-Boulder professor Norman Pace, who led the study.

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