In fact, we do a shower, because then we feel clean and healthy. Obviously, however, the exact opposite may be the result: scientists have found that these bacteria can be transferred from the showerhead.
Sick from the shower? What researchers from the University of Colorado found in a study is really frightening: The showers can accommodate dormant and even life-threatening bacteria that are transmitted to the body with water.
"It is important to understand how mycobacteria spread, especially at home," explains study author Matt Gebert of the study.
Most samples were harmless
Good news first: most samples in the study contained only harmless germs.
As the author of Noah Fierer explains, there have also been some worrying isolated cases. An example is bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium, which may be responsible for tuberculosis and leprosy, among others.
Overall, researchers found about 200 bacterial species in DNA analysis of 656 biofilm samples from household showers in the US and Europe.
To find bacteria specifically in the US
It was impressive that mycobacteria were relatively more common in American showers than in European showers.
The reason behind this could be different chemical compositions in water purification, according to experts.
For example, chlorine is used in the US – a medium against which bacteria can easily form resistance.
However, there were also significantly more samples from the United States (606) than from Europe (50).
Plastic shower less polluted
Another result of the study was that the metal shower heads were more charged with microbes than the plastic shower heads.
As the researchers suggest, chemicals in plastics can make bacteria less able to multiply.
In further research, scientists want to investigate the exact reasons for their results.