During the cold season, you probably only pay attention to the person who is visibly sick and keep your distance from them, but certain surfaces at the airport contain substantially larger bacteria colonies than other areas. (You may not be able to see them, but they are there!) It is normal for bacteria to be everywhere, but it’s the bad bacteria that we need to be more aware of and can make you ill.
Studies were conducted by the website Travelmath, the University of Nottingham in England, and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare to collect samples of surfaces both in the airport and in the airplane.
Most people would think that the toilet would be the biggest offender, but surprisingly it is not. When using the restroom, most people are careful with what they touch and follow up with washing their hands with warm soapy water. Where else are these bad bacteria hiding?
Airport Germ Spots
- Plastic bins at airport security
- Drinking fountain buttons
- Bathroom Stall locks
The testing of the plastic security bins during peak cold and flu season show that half tested positive for germs that can make you ill. Interesting these same germs were not found on toilet surfaces.
If you think about it this should not be so surprising. Bathrooms get cleaned frequently, whereas security bins get cycled several hundred times per day without cleaning. Drinking fountain buttons and bathroom stall locks are also surfaces that don’t receive regular cleaning either.
Once you’re through the airport, there are some additional areas on airplanes that you might want to be aware of.
Airplane Germ Spots
- Seat-back tray table
- Overhead air vent
- Flush button in the lavatory
- Top corner of seats in the aisle way
- Seat belt buckles
Again, these areas get touched often but not frequently cleaned. Think about the pull-down seat trays having food and beverages on them. How many times prior to you sitting there was it touched by someone ill, or even sneezed or coughed upon?! (Gross)
The overhead air vent I never even thought about. It makes sense that it would be a breeding ground for germs, touched often but cleaned…?
Think about everyone boarding the plane, how many people are touching the seat backs as they walk toward their seat? Being conscious of our surroundings allows us to make different and healthier choices.
How to Protect Yourself from Germs
- Practice good hygiene
- Wash your hands frequently with warm soapy water
- Wipe down surfaces to clean them
- Hand Sanitizer if washing is unavailable
For me, I simply wash my hands with warm soapy water, use you Young Living Thieves spray or Thieves hand sanitizer, all products that support health – no chemicals for me! 😀
Don’t forget to eat well, wash your hands frequently, and get the rest you need to enjoy your vacation or business trip with a clean bill of health.