The Hidden Danger From Whirlpool Baths

Last year, I told you about the toxic chemicals you may be breathing while you take a shower. Sitting in a whirlpool bathtub in your home or a hotel may be just as harmful to your health, according to a new study.

After testing 43 water samples from public and private whirlpool baths, a microbiologist found every one had some kind of microbial growth. Among the “goodies” researchers discovered:

  • Feces-derived bacteria (95 percent)
  • Fungi (81 percent)
  • Staphylococcus bacteria (34 percent)

However, the most worrisome number of them all: 2 million. That’s the average number of bacteria found in one teaspoon of whirlpool tub water. And, when the bacteria-packed water blows into the whirlpool tub, your body is exposed to that harmful bacteria and breathe it too.

The best thing you can do to protect your health and use a whirlpool tub safely, according to the experts: Cleaning the piping and filtering regularly. And, don’t forget to ensure your water supply is clean and fluoride-free too.

MSNBC March 9, 2006

BBC News March 3, 2006