Recognize The Dirtiest Place on The Plane When You're on Trips

Recognize The Dirtiest Place on The Plane When You're on Trips

When flying, there is nothing close to a stranger and the bathroom for hours is very clean.

And while you may not be able to make shorter flights or larger seats, you can make your experience cleaner by avoiding some of the dirtiest places on an airplane.

It should be noted that some people may be more susceptible to diseases in aircraft because air humidity in the cabin is below 20%, while home humidity is generally more than 30%, according to the World Health Organization.

Exposure to dry air affects the mucus, the immune system's immune line, making people slightly more susceptible to pain.

A 2004 study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research found that people were far more likely-113 times more, through one of the study's actions to get the common cold during the flight rather than normal ground transmission.

Humidity aside, there are some very dirty places, according to research and advice from travel doctors. This is how to avoid it.

Aircraft tray table

The dirtiest place on an airplane stretches right in your lap.

Worryingly, a 2015 study by TravelMath that tested samples from hard surfaces in aircraft found that the tray table surface has more than eight times the amount of bacteria per square inch rather than the flush toilet. The tray has 2,155 units of bacterial colonizers per square inch - compared with 127 CFU / sq. entry, which according to the National Science Foundation is the standard for toilet seats at home.

Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, told TIME that the trays he tested through the study had flu viruses, human parainfluenza viruses, noroviruses (which can cause diarrhea and vomiting) and MRSA superbug, which causes skin infections.

High bacterial counts may be related to aircrews who do not have enough time between flights to clear tray tables, the Wall Street Journal reports.

And when they feel clean, the airline may use a common cleaner instead of a disinfectant.

In the meantime, to avoid dinner from a tray, someone stacked a used tissue or changed a baby diaper a few hours ago, wipe it with a sanitary brush, Dr. Michael Zimring, director of travel medicine at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, told TIME. But if you do not feel like even touching the table (no Gerba, but Zimring says he does not bother), avoid eating food directly from the surface.

"My food will remain on a paper plate or wrapper," Zimring added.

Air vents and belt buckles

Image by: TravelMath

Two aircraft features with frequent use (which may not receive regular cleaning) are also listed.

The air vents above each seat are great for ventilated air circulation to each passenger, but TravelMath testing found 285 CFU / sq. enter on their call - more bacteria than on toilet flush toilet button.

The seatbelt buckle also has 230 FCU / sq. entry, which is not surprising as every passenger touches their buckle at least twice during the flight.

Gerba recommends bringing a small bottle of hand sanitizer on the plane and using it periodically.


The airplane's showers are cleaned regularly-United, Delta, and American Airlines told the Journal that they were disinfected overnight and between long flights.

But Gerba shows that with about 50 people in the bathroom, they are still an easy way to get infected.

He found coliform E. coli in several sinks, flush holders and toilet seats that he tested.

TravelMath found that the flush button has 265 CFU / sq. (but no stool coliform bacteria).

"It's hard to beat the restroom," in terms of germiness, says Gerba, "because the water is dead so people can not wash their hands perfectly."

The sink was so small, he added, that people with large hands could not even fit it completely under the tap.

Zimring recommends using paper towels on the door latch on the go and says that it is a precaution he never did.

Seatback pocket

Passengers have been known to take care of pockets in chairs in front of him as garbage bins, put rubbish, dirty tissue, spent diapers and more into the bag.

On a plane with a fast turnaround on land, the cleaning crew may not even have time to take out bags of pockets, let alone clean the cloth.

And one Auburn University study in Alabama found that MRSA germs last up to 7 days in the seat pocket fabric - the longest surviving on hard and soft surfaces the researchers tested.

Drexel University Medicine recommends only one way to avoid germs in the headrests: "Do not use them, this is not at all worth the risk."

Aisle Seat

Choosing a seat in the hallway lets you wake up whenever you want it, but that freedom comes with little risk.

The top of the chair in the hallway may keep the germs from everyone who walks beside them and holds on to support, according to Zimring - and many of those people have just come from the bathroom.

So beware of touching the area beside the back of the alley, and maybe you should not rest your face while you are asleep.

Sitting near the aisle puts passengers on a path of infectious virus fire that could explode on the plane.

One study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases analyzed flights from Boston to L.A. who made an emergency landing due to the epidemic of vomiting and diarrhea. The researchers found that people sitting in the alley were much more likely to contract norovirus, but there was no connection between contracting him and using the bathroom.

"If you sit in a window seat, you have little chance of getting sick," Gerba asserted.

The original articles is in TIME.


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