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.


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.


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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