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No Shower, No Problem — Just Spritz With Bacteria

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's a chemical engineer in Boston named David Whitlock who may have a new idea of chemical attraction. He hasn't showered for 12 years. Instead, he sprays himself with ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, which he says breaks down the scent of putrefying sweat more than soap and water. He collects the bacteria from the soil of barns, pigsties and chicken coops. Enjoy your breakfast, by the way. Mr. Whitlock, who's an MIT man, says he got the idea when his girlfriend - and, yes, he seems to have one - asked why horses roll around in dirt.

Mr. Whitlock found that's how horses slather themselves in the scent-destroying bacteria he now sprays on his own flesh. No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day, he told a local television station, so what's the basis for determining that's a healthy practice? David Whitlock washes his hands before eating but otherwise just spritzes - and works with a company that puts bacteria into cleansing products. Imagine spraying yourself with chloroflexi number 5. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.