Tuesday, July 05, 2005

More Health Woes - Showers Can Lead To Brain Damage

Just one more thing to keep in mind...Taking a shower could give you brain damage.

It can expose people to dangerously high levels of manganese, a poisonous metal dissolved in water.

It has been linked to damage to the nervous system.

Most countries have strict guidelines for 'safe levels' in water, to which suppliers must adhere.

But they do not take into account inhalation of steam vapour while showering, warn US scientists.

Inhaling it leads to a 'direct unfiltered pathway of toxins' to the brain which increases the risk, they argue.

Studies on rats suggested a tenminute shower every day could cause brain and spinal cord damage, behavioural changes and a tremor condition similar to Parkinson's disease.

After ten years, children would be exposed to manganese levels three times higher than the doses needed to damage the rodents' brains. Adults with a longer history of showering could be exposed to doses that are 50 per cent higher.

Dr John Spangler, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina, said: 'If confirmed, our results could have profound implications for the world.'

However, while safe levels in the US are considered to be 0.5mg, a 1998 EU directive reduced acceptable levels in Europe to 0.05mg.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said British people should not worry.

A spokesman said: 'The levels set by the EU are safe for individuals who choose to shower.'The Drinking Water Inspectorate would consider the study and all the evidence, he added.


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