Researchers at the Mayo clinic in a new study observe the dangers of getting a lung infection or irritation from a hot tub bath. No doubt it is relaxing to use a hot tub, or jacuzzi, at home or in a health club. The experts advice you to be sure of keeping the tub clean and well-maintained in order to avoid developing a problem with a common bacterium that lives in hot water.
They have investigated two patients presenting with 'hot tub lung' - a relatively new condition which is either an infection or an irritation due to exposure to mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) . At temperatures above 84 degrees Fahrenheit, where many tubs operate, chlorine loses its disinfectant properties, and MAC can flourish. The bubbles and steam arising from the tub create an aerosol through which MAC readily enters the lung by inhalation.
The problem is most likely to occur where owners do not properly clean the tubs or change the filters as often as is recommended. If you own the tub, be scrupulous about keeping it clean. If it belongs to your health club, check with the owners if you think there might be a problem.