Showerheads may harbor bacteria dangerous to some

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It may be the scariest shower threat since the movie "Psycho."

Researchers have found that showerheads can harbor tiny bacteria that come spraying into your face when you wash.

It's not really a health hazard for people with normal immune systems. But people with cystic fibrosis or AIDS and people who are undergoing cancer treatment could have reason for concern. So could people who've had a recent organ transplant.

The researchers at the University of Colorado tested 45 showers in five states. It was part of a larger study of the microbiology of air and water in homes, schools and public buildings.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The lead author says it's "probably not" dangerous to take showers, unless your immune system is compromised.

But for those who want to be extra-careful, there researchers note that the microbes have a harder time clinging to all-metal showerheads.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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