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What’s hidden in your shower spray?

The answer is bacteria, lots of bacteria, luckily you can fight these bacteria with shower head cleaner. One pathogen is Non-tuberculosis myctobacteria (NTM) are small, rod-shaped bacilli found in the natural environment, and like its name implies, it does not cause tuberculosis. However, it is the cause of other health woes such as lymphadenitis, pulmonary disease resembling tuberculosis, skin disease, etc. 

The most common exposure people have to these bacteria is through water distribution systems. Almost every water system has biofilms and protozoa that have been established to assist the proliferation of mycobacteria. Studies reveal that NTM is somewhat resistant to chlorine so even if these water distribution systems and water itself are treated with chlorine, the bacteria will continue to thrive and infect people.

People acquire NTM through ingestion, aspiration, or inoculation of bacteria through the water. So basically, all the usual “water activities” can expose you to the bacteria.

  • Washing your face
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Taking a shower

You do these tasks to cleanse your body, but they can increase the risk of developing any of the diseases mentioned earlier. Medical experts point out that those who are at higher risk of infection and developing even more complicated health conditions are young children, old people, and those who have pre-existing conditions such as asthma and HIV. 

But there’s an even bigger concern than NTM — Legionella bacteria. This is the pathogen which causes the potentially fatal Legionnaire’s disease. Legionella bacteria may also be present in the water and distribution systems. While it’s not as resistant to chlorine as NTM, it can still thrive in chlorine-treated water because it lives in the biofilm.

NTM infection and Legionnaire’s disease are both treatable (though Legionnaire’s is more complicated and aggressive), but why subject anyone through the intense discomfort of these bacteria if prevention is possible? 

Disinfections Work

Since it’s established that water distribution systems are where these bacteria thrive, disinfecting them is the obvious solution. But before disinfection commences, it’s important to determine the actual infected areas first; our water quality testing kits will do the trick. These kits come with sterile bottles and free courier service to get the samples to the lab and deliver the results of the test. If results turn out positive of these bacteria, then disinfection can begin. 

For NTM, dosing disinfectants into the water such as higher levels of chlorine or chlorine dioxide are effective enough. UV irradiation are also effective but have no residual effect downstream.

For cleaning and disinfecting shower heads and hoses, use a product such as  AquaCert Shower Head Cleaner. Tests show it is one of the most effective solutions in getting rid of L. pneumophila. In fact it kills the bacteria in less than a minute. But it is also strong enough for NTM. So it’s not just preventing the occurrence of Legionella disease but NTM-related illnesses as well.

How to test

Visit our store for details on testing for Mycobacteria and legionella.