Airport Security Procedures Spread Germs

Surface found to harbor more bacteria than airport restrooms

September 11, 2018

The plastic trays that airline passengers place their carry-on items on to be x-rayed prior to their flights spread the most germs in airports, according to a study published in the BMC Infectious Diseases journal.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, England, and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare measured germ levels on a variety of surfaces at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland during the winter of 2016.They found half of the security bins tested positive for germs, including influenza A and rhinovirus. Neither of these viruses were found on toilet surfaces at the airport.

Other airport germ hot spots included shop payment terminals, staircase rails, passport checking counters, and children’s play areas.

The study’s results suggested that frequent cleaning of the trays, along with handwashing and/or applying sanitizer after going through a security checkpoint, can help cut down on the spread of germs at airports.

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