How clean is your showerhead?

14Jun

How clean is your showerhead?

A new study published in the Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health has found that around 1.5 million homes across the UK could be harbouring Legionella.

The bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, which is contracted when tiny airborne droplets of contaminated water are inhaled and can lead to pneumonia and even organ failure.

Read Ten Facts about Legionella from Biomaster

Although Legionnaires’ is usually an issue in larger buildings like office blocks and hotels, Public Health England is warning that cases are on the rise in domestic households from showers, taps, wash basins and even garden hoses.

Whilst cases are rare, a 2012 outbreak in Edinburgh resulted in four deaths and around 100 people requiring treatment via antibiotics for a Legionella caused infection.

Levels of Legionella in the UK

In the latest study, PHE inspectors took samples from showerheads and bathroom pipes that had been left idle for several hours in 82 properties across Bath, Bristol, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salisbury and Southampton.

The results found that nearly a third of samples tested positive for Legionella, with three samples showing evidence of a new strain which hadn’t previously been seen in the UK.

Expanding on the results, the research team found that around 6% of properties in the study had dangerously high levels of bacteria, equating to an estimated 1.5 million households in the UK. 

How to prevent Legionella build up

It’s claimed that cases of Legionnaires’ disease are increasing as people chose to take showers rather than baths, and showerheads and hoses can be perfect conditions for the bacteria to thrive.  

You can find a wide range of Biomaster protected showerheads and hoses which can help to inhibit the growth of Legionella but how else can you reduce the risk of buildup in your bathroom?

1. Legionella can start to breed in stagnant water so make sure that you don’t have any build up from any leaks

2. Clean your showerhead and hose regularly by using a descaler and disinfectant and rinsing through with fresh water before reassembling

3. If your shower has not been used in a few days, let the water run through for several minutes

4. If your shower is rarely ever used then consider removing it to stop bacteria building up in stagnant water

5. Whilst electric showers are thought to be safer by heating water directly from the mains supply, they should be cleaned as regularly

Do you have any top tips for cleaning around the house?

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