As relaxing and enjoyable a bath in your hot tub can be, you need to be aware of the fact that it might involve some health risks. Find out what these are and learn to protect yourself as effectively as possible.
Experts in epidemiology and microbiology believe that a hot tub for the garden does not meet all the hygiene and health requirements as a pool. Hot water is more difficult to sanitize than cold water, and the steam you expose to during a bath in the hot tub can spread many germs and bacteria.
Which are the most common germs encountered in a hot tub for the garden
One of the most common germs you can contract from using a jacuzzi is Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, which can cause the infection called “Pseudomonas folliculitis”. It lasts both in water and in soil, but it only multiplies in water, when the amount of disinfectants is insufficient. Your skin is exposed to it during bathing, especially if this relaxing activity happens quite often.
The effects of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa on the human body are manifested at the skin level, in places where it is not protected by the bathing suit, through itching and stains, which develop into blisters with pus afterwards. Symptoms become apparent just days after exposure.
If Pseudomonas folliculitis is a mild affection that treats itself in most cases, a more difficult disease to treat is “Legionnaires disease”. It is similar to pneumonia and is caused by a germ called Legionella, which develops primarily in hot water and is inhaled in the form of vapors. People over the age of 50, smokers and those with a more fragile immune system are directly exposed to contamination. This condition can degenerate into complications such as Pontiac fever, a flu-like respiratory infection.
What bacteria can you bring yourself into your hot tub
Besides the pathogens that are naturally found in water, people using the hot tub have their own germs that contaminate the water. Fecal matter is among the most dangerous of these germs, along with urine and sweating. Infections and contagious diseases can easily contract from a hot tub.
How to avoid contracting bacteria and viruses from the hot tub
Although most people who take a bath in a hot tub have the habit of taking a shower after, it is very important to do also do this before entering the hot tub. Products such as body lotions, sunscreen creams, or make-up remnants can affect the action of the disinfectant in water.
Another important aspect is the number of people who use the hot tub. Although inviting friends to have fun by the water is a promise of lots of fun, you must be realistic and not exaggerate with the number of people you bring in; each of them brings bacteria and viruses that will alter the quality of the water.
Hot tub specialists recommend using water testing kits regularly, as well as disinfectants in recommended dosages. These can be found in specialized stores with pool/ spa products and are not very expensive.