What to look for when you’re buying a shower curtain hook
Posted On July 24, 2021
The shower curtain has long been a source of controversy in the industry.
Some have blamed the curtain for the spread of bacteria that causes a wide range of illnesses.
Others blame the curtain’s ability to hold up to water and dust.
Now, scientists say, they’ve found the culprit.
The curtain’s water barrier may be the problemThe new findings may help scientists understand how the curtain may be able to hold water and water particles to prevent them from reaching the eyes, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature.
The researchers from the University of Southern California say they tested the curtain against a water sample taken from the water tank in a Los Angeles home.
The sample was collected after the curtains were installed.
They found that the water barrier of the curtain failed to stop bacteria from entering the house, as expected.
They also found the curtain did not block particles from reaching nearby people’s eyes.
“The water barrier does not seem to be affected by humidity or dust, as other studies have suggested,” said lead author Matthew Miller, a professor in the USC Department of Biomedical Engineering.
“What we saw was that the curtain had a very low barrier to entry, meaning that bacteria were able to enter the water, and we’re now finding that it’s a water barrier that doesn’t have much water in it,” Miller told ABC News.
While there are different theories about why curtain water is so weak, Miller said one explanation is that it can be filtered through the curtain, and then the curtain will release more water, allowing the bacteria to spread further.
The scientists also said the curtain can absorb water that is being pumped into it through a water filter, which could explain why the curtain does not hold up the same as water from a showerhead.
“We found that this water barrier is pretty good at keeping water from reaching these eyes,” Miller said.
He said the findings are “surprising” because previous studies have found that water is usually absorbed by the water in the curtain.
“There is some debate as to whether water can penetrate the water curtain,” Miller explained.
The curtain’s barrier is made of glass, which absorbs water much better than glass pipes, he said.
But the barrier is also porous, which means it can break if exposed to air.
“So we’re really starting to understand why this curtain does what it does,” Miller added.
Researchers say they don’t know why the water is not able to pass through the barrier, but the curtain should be treated with a “low-molecular-weight water repellent” to reduce the chances of the barrier breaking.ABC News’ Andrew Seaman contributed to this report.