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Sept. 14, 2009 -- It's warm and damp and dark -- the perfect place for bacteria to nestle and stay for a while.
It turns out that that's just what they do -- in your showerhead.
What's more, says a new study, the mucky film of microorganisms lining the inside of your showerhead often harbors bacteria that can cause lung disease, including a cough, fever, fatigue and weight loss.
These mycobacteria -- close relatives of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis -- can be more than 100 times more prevalent in showerheads than in the water in the pipes just upstream, a research team found.
Disinfecting the showerhead might make things worse, the researchers found. They tried cleaning one showerhead with bleach and found that it carried even more mycobacteria after the cleaning than before.