Mycobacterium? I hardly knew him!
November 28, 2018 9:24 PM Subscribe
As water passes through pipes in general and showerheads in particular, a thick biofilm builds up. Biofilm is a fancy word that scientists use to avoid saying “gunk.” It is made by individuals of one or more species of bacteria working together to protect themselves from hostile conditions—including the flow of water, which constantly threatens to wash them away—via their own excretions. In essence, the bacteria poop a little indestructible condominium in your pipes, built of hard-to-break-down complex carbohydrates. But when the pressure is high enough, these species are let loose into the fine aerosol spray of water droplets pelting our hair and bodies and splashing up and into our noses and mouths. And in some regions, but not others, they increasingly seem to be making people sick.
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