The dirtiest places in the airport

Feb. 9, 2018

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Bad news for travelers who cringe at just the thought of someone sneezing on a plane.

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A new study has found that certain spaces in the airport and on planes are dirtier than a toilet seat.

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Armrests, water fountain buttons and seatback tray tables were among the grimiest offenders, but they weren't the filthiest.

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To figure out which items contained the most bacteria, researchers swabbed and tested several surfaces at three different major airports.

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They discovered that the screens of self check-in kiosks contained the most colony-forming units per square inch of all surfaces tested.

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The kiosks were contaminated with an average of 253,857 CFU per screen. For comparison's sake, toilet seats are ridden with an average of 172 CFU.

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Those who want to take extra precautions can wash their hands often and stock up on sanitized wipes and hand cleanser.

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A final note for some peace of mind: Not all bacteria is bad for you, and certain strains are actually imperative for human health.

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Happy travels!

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