conversation with Dr. Joseph Falkinham of Virginia Tech University

Posted by terryb1 @128128terry11t, Sep 19, 2017

Just got off the phone with Dr. Falkinham, a microbiologist who often lectures on NTMs. He could not have been more gracious with his time and knowledge. I asked the questions suggested by our members. Some interesting points:
NTMs can live on quasi dry conditions for a very long time.
Spring water is fine to drink. Sure, there are NTMs present but at a much lower amount than tap water.
It is wise to avoid pools. However, the ocean and salt water pools are okay. NTMs do not like salt water.
There are no open forums on bacterial subjects at Virginia Tech.
If you want house plants, it is a good idea when initially planting to pour huge amounts of water on the peat moss in order to fully saturate and avoid the usual dust created by the peat moss.
If you want to get filter for shower head: It is best to put two filters on the shower head: the first being a 1-5 micron pore size to take the particulates out of the water; and then a .2 filter. Other than that, the bigger the holes on the shower head, the better as you will have bigger drops as opposed to mist.
One of the best things that you can do in a bathroom is to open a window. Sadly, most modern bathrooms do not have windows.
Following the above point: a properly filtered shower head appears to be equal to bathing. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendation as to how frequently to change the filter. I asked if the manufacturer suggests that it be replaced monthly and you are the only one to use the shower, does it appear to be safe to replace every other month. He stated that that sounds reasonable.
Keep the water temperature above 130 degrees.
Most faucets have aerators on them. Aerators can be unscrewed and to cut down on mists, it is a good idea to remove the aerators.
He is NOT a fan of humidifiers!
There is a high number of NTMs in buildings that have a recirculating hot water system such as high rises. Best to have appropriate filters on shower heads and to remove aerators as mentioned above.
Asked what is important for all who wish to not become reinfected or who are currently infected. He stated that it is important to maintain our health: to eat well and to exercise. He joked that if your exercise is to walk, change the route if you walk by some fountains — avoid, if you can, being exposed to aerosols.
What a nice man! Hope that this is helpful. Terry

Thanks so much Terry for all the info.


Thanks so much for the time and guts to make this call. Good info from him, maybe he can be an ongoing resource for us? It’s sounds like you established a connection.

Nice to have a professional into NTMs.

With gratitude to you and the Doc
Kay S

Liked by tdrell

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