When you purchased your spa, the salesman flooded you with the therapeutic benefits of hydro massage and collected his commission. Experience shows they usually fail to mention the spa could make you and your family sick. Warm and wet environments are very attractive to microbes. There are several types of microorganisms which rapidlymultiply in spa water, like bacteria, fungi, protozoa's, and viruses. Some are pathogens which can cause diseases including forms of Pseudomonas which affect ears, eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract. The microorganism that causes Legionnaires Disease thrives in spas with inadequate sanitizer levels. Another big one is Mycobacterium avum which induces flue like symptoms. And we can’t leave out E.coli, Meningitis and herpes simplex type I just to name a few. Warm water increases the breeding rate of bacteria and opens our pores to allow an easy route for infection. Not to mention inhaling contaminated water droplets made airborne by the jets. Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (Granulomatous Pneumonitis) or “Hot Tub Lung”, is a rare disease caused by inhaling dead bacteria fragments called endotoxins. Spa water could contain high levels of bacteria if the water is inadequately maintained. Brought to the proper sanitation levels often kills the bacteria but leaves behind the endotoxins. The spray features like jets and blowers disperse these toxins in the air which are then inhaled into people’s lungs and thus cause an allergic and inflammatory reaction. A shipboard outbreak of Legionnaires Disease was linked to a heavily used spa where buildup of oils and other organic matter on the filter had created a haven for microbes. When the air jets were turned on, the bacteria in the aerosol infected not only baithers but alsopeople who merely sat on the deck near the spa as well. A whirlpool spa was identified as the source of the worlds largest outbreaks of Legionnaires disease in 1999 at a Dutch flower show. 188 people were affected from a single operational display spa in hall 3 of the building. Why? Because the chemicals were not properly maintained. Many people who complain of “allergic reactions” to the chemicals are actually suffering from simple dermatitis from the bacteria Pseudomonas aeurginosa due to inadequate water balance. Others have died from acute respiratory failure from contracting Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome caused by inhaling waste and saliva dust from rodent infestation. In particular the cotton rat Sigmodon hispidus and deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus. They both live in Texas and as stated earlier under the mechanical breakdown section, love to nest under spas. The Center for Infectious Diseases indicates no existence of a miracle drug to cure HPS. The best chance of survival for those infected is immediate intensive care. Other rodents species may play host to other types of hantaviruses that cause a different type of infection, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome for example. Keep in mind that both blowers and turbo jet devices suck up air from under the spa cabinets and pushes it into the water. Whatever is floating around in the air under your spa, is now floating around in the spa itself. There are numerous spa repair technicians who refuse to work on spas which have been infested with rodents for fear of contracting Rat Bite Fever. A disease which can be transmitted by a simple scratch received from operational components which have been urinated on by rodents. Cleaning under the cabinet is as important as cleaning the spa shell. These problems will be eliminated with proper chemical maintenance, cleaning, and sanitation. Craig’s Spa Cleaning uses antibody-based bacteria testing which detects species of Aeromonas (including Pseudomonas), E.coli, Shigella, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and many other coliform and non-coliform bacteria.