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Hot tubs are havens for germs

Back in college I was once invited to fraternity party that in addition to the usual kegs of beer, promised several mobile hot tubs for added fun. Knowing a few things about Greek boys, I accepted the free beer cup but steered clear of the tubs. I harbored deep suspicions about the sorts of bacteria that would likely be swimming about in those murky waters. It turns out I had a nugget of wisdom. In a recent study by Dr Rita B. Moyes, a microbiologist at Texas A & M University, nearly all hot tubs house some type of microbial growth. In 95 per cent of the tested tubs, bacteria derived from feces were present, while 81 per cent had fungi and 34 per cent contained potentially deadly staphylococcus bacteria. According to Dr. Moyes, a teaspoon of normal tap water contains about 138 bacteria and many samples are bacteria-free. On the other hand, a  teaspoon of whirlpool tub water contains an average of more than 2 million bacteria. The problems arise when the interior pipes of the spas are not properly maintained or chemically cleaned, and when the jets are operating germs are spewed out into the water. If tubs are routinely cleaned with the correct combination of chemicals, the likelihood for germ growth diminishes. But if I were to ever again be invited to a fraternity party, I would still avoid the hot tubs.

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