Spa Safety and Sanitation

hydrotherapy treatments in spas

Health Concerns for Hydrotherapy Tubs and Jacuzzis

After a long day at work, Jacuzzis can feel like the best, most relaxing gift you can give to yourself. Using a Jacuzzi has loads of health benefits, too, such as the soothing of arthritis to the easing of a migraine. However, bacteria love the inside of a Jacuzzi and that can make problems for the body’s immune system.  By now, everyone knows the dangers that may be lurking in a pedicure tub.  When it comes to whirlpool tubs and Jacuzzis, you need to be just as careful.  After all, for the most part you may consider a whirlpool or hydrotherapy tub like one big jetted pedicure foot tub.  These hydrotherapy tubs may harbor a safety concern for spa goers, and individuals who have these tubs in their home.

 Due to the overwhelming responses from individuals wanting to know about the safety of the whirlpools, Jacuzzis and hydrotherapy tubs, Spavelous changed topics this week so we could address your many concerns.  These concerns certainly are real, and a study by a Texas A&M University microbiologist shows that whirlpool bathtubs can literally be a breeding ground for dozens of types of bacteria, many of them potential pathogens, and such water can be a ground zero for infectious diseases.  Please keep in mind that this is not just a challenge found at spas, it may also be a challenge if you have an at home Jacuzzi or whirlpool bathtub.

Microbiologist Rita B. Moyes tested 43 water samples from whirlpool bathtubs — both private and public ones — and found that all 43 had bacterial growth ranging from mild to red-level dangerous. A whopping 95 percent showed the presence of fecal derived bacteria, while 81 percent had fungi and 34 percent contained staphylococcus, which can cause deadly staph infections. 

The main reason that whirlpool baths are almost a prime breeding ground for potentially harmful bacteria is the lining of the pipes.  They are full of inaccessible air, and water in these pipes tends to get trapped, often for long periods of time. The stagnant water in a whirlpool bathtub pipe is a great place for bacteria to grow and grow.  When the jets are then switched on, this water with harmful bacteria gets blown into the tub where a person is soaking. 

Bacteria can lead to numerous diseases, among them urinary tract infections, septicemia, several types of skin infections, severe skin rashes, eye and ear infections, and pneumonia.. Because of the aerosol mist created by the whirlpool action, microbes are forced into the lungs or open cuts. One type of bacteria, L. pneumophila, can cause Legionnaires Disease, of which 90 percent of all cases can be traced back to bacteria developed from a warm environment.

These bacteria can be easily controlled and removed by properly cleaning the hydrotherapy tubs and maintaining the disinfectant levels in Jacuzzis.   In this week’s Spavelous “Now You Are In The Know” spa magazine how to insure your safety, what to look for and what questions to ask prior to scheduling your appointment. 

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