Of Note: How Science Finally Vindicated My Hate of Showering
The thing is, honestly, I never got over hating showers. I mean, don't get me wrong ... I shower, and no one has to throw me in the tub. I just don't like it. Feels like a waste of time: The shaving, the hair washing and hair drying, it takes forever. So getting me into the shower is still a chore: I'll walk around the apartment all day saying "I'm about to get in the shower" while my boyfriend laughs at me saying, "yeah, right."
Needless to say, this is not something I usually discuss publicly. But ALL of this is necessary background to understand why I feel especially vindicated by the recent news that daily showers can actually cause brain damage.
Scientists believe that breathing in small amounts of manganese found in water may harm the central nervous system. Dr John Spangler, of Wake Forest University in New Carolina, said: "If our results are confirmed, they could have profound implications for the world. Inhaling manganese, rather than eating or drinking it, is far more efficient at delivering it to the brain." Manganese is in food and rocks and enters the air, soil and water. It damages the brain leading to learning difficulties, tremors and changes in behaviour. Dr Spangler's team claim that a 10-minute shower a day for 10 years would expose children to three times higher doses than would be needed to damage a rat's brain. Adults with more years in the shower would receive doses 50 per cent higher.
See! I knew there was a reason I hated showers! I read this and immediately emailed my best childhood friend, Quail, who also happens to hate of showers. I sent her the article and we emailed back and forth all day feeling brilliant about the whole thing: "All those people who made fun of us for hating showers are going to get manganese brain poisoning!"
It's actually not big news ... it's kinda just common sense: if there are things in the water, those same things are probably present in the water vapor, and you probably breathe them in when you shower. Just after high school, I worked in a natural pet food store in Oregon (yes, it's true) with a quirky high-strung woman named Nancy who was in her 70s but looked 40. She always swore that the secret to her youthful longevity was that she never took hot showers, because she didn't want to breathe in any vaporized chemicals from the water. Last time I talked to Nancy she was in her 80s and still hyper as ever. Maybe she was on to something.