Non-tuberculosis myctobacteria (NTM) are small, rod-shaped bacilli found in the natural environment, and like its name implies, it does not cause tuberculosis. However, it is the cause of other health woes such as lymphadenitis, pulmonary disease resembling tuberculosis, skin disease, etc.
The most common exposure people have to these bacteria is through water distribution systems, which typically have biofilms and protozoa that have been established to assist the proliferation of mycobacteria. Studies reveal that NTM is somewhat resistant to chlorine so even if these water distribution systems and water itself are treated with chlorine, the bacteria will continue to thrive and infect people.
People acquire NTM through ingestion, aspiration, or inoculation of bacteria through the water. So basically, the usual “water activities” can expose people to the bacteria; washing the face, brushing the teeth, showering, which are all done to cleanse the body, can actually put people at risk of developing any of the diseases mentioned earlier. Medical experts point out that those who are at higher risk of infection and developing even more complicated health conditions are young children, old people, and those who have pre-existing conditions such as asthma and HIV.
But there’s an even bigger concern than NTM — Legionella bacteria, which causes the potentially fatal Legionnaire’s disease. Legionella bacteria may also be present in the water and distribution systems. While it’s not as resistant to chlorine as NTM, it can still thrive in chlorine-treated water.
NTM infection and Legionnaire’s disease are both treatable (though Legionnaire’s is more complicated and aggressive), but why subject anyone through the intense discomfort of these bacteria if prevention is possible?
Since it’s established that water distribution systems are where these bacteria thrive, disinfecting them is the obvious solution. But before disinfection commences, it’s important to determine the actual infected areas first; our water quality testing kits will do the trick. These kits come with sterile bottles water sample gathering, free courier service to get the samples to the lab and deliver the results of the test. If results turn out positive of these bacteria, then disinfection can begin.
For NTM, dosing disinfectants into the water such as higher levels of chlorine or chlorine dioxide are effective enough. UV irradiation are also effective but have no residual effect downstream.
For cleaning and disinfecting shower heads and hoses, our product Showerhead Plus has been proven one of the most effective solutions in getting rid of L. pneumophila; it kills the bacteria with just 30-second contact time using a 1:3 dilution with water. But it is also strong enough for NTM. So it’s not just preventing the occurrence of Legionella disease but NTM-related illnesses as well.