Mycobacteria in Showerheads/bleach no help

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by victoria, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Just a reminder, nobody needs more infections, and, as this article states, one never actually gets rid of these mycobactera:

    It's warm and damp and dark -- the perfect place for bacteria... It turns out that that's just what they do -- in your showerhead.

    What's more, says a new study (2009), 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, according to the research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Infections with such non-tuberculosis mycobacteria have risen in recent years, up six fold since 1997, according to another study. The bacteria don't threaten healthy people, but those with cystic fibrosis, AIDS, recent organ transplants or other immune-compromising conditions are at risk of an infection.

    "There's been a growing voice in the medical field hypothesizing that showering has caused some of this increase," said the study's lead author, Leah Feazel of the University of Colorado, Boulder. "One hundred years ago, people bathed, they didn't shower."

    The problem is not just that the microorganisms are enriched in the showerhead, Feazel said. It's also that the spray nozzle creates a fine mist of tiny water droplets. "These tiny, tiny particles can go all the way into your deep lungs," she said.

    "Most of us are in the shower long enough to inhale a fairly reasonable amount of mycobacteria," Joe Falkinham of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg told Discovery News.

    Feazel and colleagues isolated and sequenced DNA from showerheads and compared the findings with a database of DNA sequences to determine what organisms were living in the showerhead.

    The study considered 45 different sites in nine U.S. cities, sampling several sites repeatedly to get a feeling for how microbial communities changed over time.

    "The results showed that there's a very complex community inside most shower heads," Feazel said. "There are lots of different species. One of those is Mycobacterium avium, which causes pulmonary disease in people who are immune compromised."

    Mycobacteria have a waxy exterior that makes them prone to stick to surfaces and join mats of microorganisms known as biofilms. Even the small amount of organic matter remaining in water supplies is enough to feed these organisms.

    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. "Mycobacteria are known to be very chlorine resistant," Feazel said. "By using bleach, we probably killed everything else."

    The researchers recommend that those people who are at risk of infection take baths instead of showering. Metal showerheads appear to foster less growth than plastic showerheads, although many showerheads that look metallic are actually plastic. Another option is to buy a cheap showerhead and change it every few months Feazel said.

    "Once you're infected with mycobacteria, you're always infected," he said. "The drug therapy requires multiple drugs. If a patient can tolerate the drugs, they'll get rid of the disease symptoms. They'll never get rid of the organisms."

    Unlike tuberculosis, these mycobacteria are not transmitted from person to person.

  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Just what we need--more infections. YIKES!!!

    Don't know what I'll do as I always wash my hair in the shower. Guess I'll just take my chances, but I appreciate this info.

    Love, Mikie
  3. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    AHH! I rememeber reading about this when it first came out and being horrified. I have never looked at my showerhead the same way... But the bathtub is the dirtiest place in the bathroom in general, even more than the toilet!

    I hope being on Rifampin (a tuberculosis drug) will give me SOME kind of protection ;)
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    nothing there...

  5. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    A similar problem can happen in dishwashers which are not properly cleaned by the detergent used to clean the dishes. If you look closely in hidden areas as well as the drain mesh on the floor of some dishwashers you will see a build up of black mould. Along with this black mould are mycobacteria. If the dishes are not washed on a full cycle ie are washed on a fast/single cycle without heat drying it will be worse. Bleach reduces the population of mould but does not remove it completely. It totally fails to remove the mycobacteria which are living on/with the mould. When the dishes are washed, sometimes traces of mould and mycobacteria are found on the dishes - in low amounts but sometimes there. So clean the dishwasher and ensure the mould does not build up.
  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    good idea, but how... those are hidden places after all. Throw some vinegar into the rinse cycle maybe?
  7. rocky76

    rocky76 Member

    We live in an age when disease causing pathogens are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotic therapy. Many of these diseases are becoming serious killers, such as MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Stapylococcus Aureus, VRE or Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus, and Mycobacterium or Tuberculosis. Resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of antibiotics. This resistance comes about in nature via the process of natural selection but it can also occur when "evolutionary" stress is applied to a given microorganism population as with the overuse or misuse of antibiotic therapy.

    The result is an increase in the number of organisms becoming resistant, some of them to more than one antibiotic. These are the so called "Superbugs." Additionally, the stronger and more powerful antibiotics used to kill these "superbugs" can have unwanted side effects in the human population. In some cases those side effects can be as harmful as the disease being treated. There is a solution to the problem that is all but ignored by modern medicine, especially in the United States. This solution is beginning to gain world wide popularity, however, especially in the holistic health and alternative medicine communities and in countries with less beaurocracy to stop the advance of natural, non drug related therapies. That solution is the use of Colloidal Silver Solution, a true natural antibiotic.

    Colloidal Silver Solution is a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver, colliodal meaning particles which remain in suspension without forming a dissolved or ionic solution. Colloidal silver is a known powerful antimicrobial agent. Concentrations of 5 parts per million have been found to kill numerous infectious bacteria. It's mechanism of action seems to be via the oligodynamic effect by inhibiting the expression of enzymes and other proteins essential to ATP or Adenosine-5' -triphosphate production. It is toxic to a number of resistant organisms such as MRSA and Tuberculosis, and has in some recent studies, even been shown to have effect against viruses such as Influenza A, the virus that causes Bird Flu in humans.

    In the United States, companies which manufacture or sell Colloidal Silver Solution are prohibited by the FDA from claiming any therapeutic value of the product. It cannot be labeled as a natural antibiotic, though that is in truth what it is. The agency does allow it to be labeled and sold as a food supplement as long as no medicinal claims are made. Ongoing scientific studies are being done by many independent laboratories to validate the efficacy of this potential antimicrobial wonder and Colloidal Silver has been tested against a number of resistant and non resistant pathogens with good results. It has been approved by the EPA for use as a disinfectant in hospitals and medical clinics in the US. Silver is also used in the treatment of burns and bed sores.

    Internationally however, the story is much different. Many nations have recognized and are making use of this powerful agent, this natural antibiotic, to treat any number of disease causing pathogens. Colloidal Silver solution is being used with much success in African hospitals to treat malaria, cholera, AIDS, flu, hepatitis, respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, sinus infections, food poisoning, vaginitis, staph and strep infections, thrush, burns, wounds and skin infections. This author has used it effectively, against sinus infections, peridontal infections, tooth infections, cuts and wounds.

  8. jole

    jole Member

    For years I've added approximately 1/4 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle of the dishwasher. Didn't know about the mycobacteria, but it sure does a nice job of getting rid of spots :) So maybe I've been doing myself a bigger favor than I knew.

    Wondering why would it only apply to shower heads and not faucets on tubs/sinks?
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I would think it would - anywhere there is plastic. I do wonder if it can also form on the pvc plumbing in so many houses.
  10. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    Best thing to use if you can get it is peracetic acid or if not use glacial acetic acid and citric acid 2:1. Or failing that white vinegar and citric acid 2:1. Peracetic acid will kill all mycobacteria and much of the mould and will clean your dishwasher. Its a bit hard to get hold of but you could try an online chemical or horticultural supplier. Glacial acetic acid is stronger than vinegar and by mixing it with citric acid it will be more effective. I am not sure about vinegar + citric acid, I doubt it will kill mycobacteria, especially when diluted in the cycle. You could try spraying it on and leaving for an hour before starting the cycle. (Once a month should be enough)
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    That settle's it--I'm going to start bathing in the tolet :)

    Love, Mikie
  12. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Let's at least throw some lavender scented vinegar in it first, and then call it the "toilette" and sound high class...

    [This Message was Edited on 02/03/2011]