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Articles - Aviation

Airport check-in screens have more germs than toilet seats

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
  • Researchers conducted swab tests on six surfaces at three major US airports
  • They found the average check-in screen has 253,857 colony-forming germ units
  • This is compared to just 172 colony-forming germ units found on toilet seats
  • Other dirty surfaces include the armrests on seats and water fountain buttons

Self-service check-in screens at airports have over 1,000 times more bacteria on them than toilet seats, a new study has revealed.

The report found that the kiosks, which many airlines encourage their passengers to use, are riddled with viable germs and fungal cells, and are the dirtiest surfaces in airports.

Researchers conducted 18 swab tests across six surfaces at three major US airports and on aeroplanes.

An infographic showing the dirtiest surfaces in airports and how much bacteria are living on them compared to household surfaces

They then sent their swabs to a lab to establish how many colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria were on them.

And the tests, commissioned by insurancequotes.com, showed that the average self check-in screen contained 253,857 CFU - with one screen even recording over one million CFU.

In comparison, the average toilet seat contains just 172 CFU while a door knob has 203 CFU.

The research also revealed that the armrest on seats in departure lounges are also far from germ-free with the average having a CFU reading of 21,630 - more than the average kitchen sink, which has 21,000 CFU.

While the button on the water fountain was also found to be particularly grimy, with an average of 19,181 CFU.

The researchers also tested surfaces on aeroplanes, but they weren't as bacteria-ridden as airports.

However, the flush buttons on aircraft toilets have an average of 95,145 CFU - compared to the average kitchen countertop's average of 361 CFU.

Original article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5362205/Airport-check-screens-germs-toilet-seats.html

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