What Areas Of Planes And Airports Are The Germiest? | TODAY
The dirtiest places in airports are not in the bathroom
You're going to want your hand sanitizer ready, even if you aren't using the bathroom. Scott Olson/Getty
- A Texas-based insurance website sent out researchers to to find out the dirtiest spots of an airport.
- The self check-in kiosk had the highest amount of bacteria and fungal cells, with bench armrests and water fountains close behind.
- On flights, the dirtiest part was found to be the flush buttons in the plane's bathroom.
Airports are teeming with germs, but not in the areas that you might think. While most people avoid the bathrooms at all costs due to the sticky floors and smelly toilets, they're not actually the dirtiest place in an airport. In fact, if you were to guess the germiest thing at the airport, it probably wouldn't be in your top three responses.
To find out the truth about the dirtiest places in an airport, InsuranceQuotes.com, a Texas-based insurance website, had researchers conduct 18 tests across six different surfaces at three major US airports and airline flights. They used swab kits to identify the spots with the highest average amount of bacteria and fungal cells per square inch (CFU). (Don't miss these 12 everyday items that are dirtier than a toilet seat.)
Next time you're checking in, remember to bring your hand sanitizer. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty
The results? The dirtiest place in an airport is actually the self check-in kiosk, which contained an average of 253,857 CFU, far above the runner ups. (One specific self check-in kiosk was even found with over 1 million CFU!) Coming in second for the dirtiest place in the airport are the airline gate bench armrests, which contained a little over 21,000 CFU. Water fountain buttons took third place with just over 19,000 CFU.
Researchers also took a look at the germiest spots on an actual airplane, and, while airplanes contain slightly fewer germs than an airport, they too are filled with bacteria and fungal cells. According to the study, the plane bathroom's flush button is the dirtiest, with an average of 95,145 CFU. The tray table and seat belt buckle follow far behind with 11,595 and 1,116 CFU.
The flush button in the bathroom is the dirtiest part of an airplane. Kevork Djansezian/Getty
Of course, when you think about it, none of these dirty spots should really come as a shock, considering the self check-in kiosk and tray tables are all probably the most touched items at an airport and on an airplane. But to put things in perspective airports and airplanes are a lot dirtier than say, an airport's toilet seat, which contains 172 CFU, or a kitchen countertop with 361 CFU.
So next time you fly, wash your hands and use a hand sanitizer.
Video: Airports Dirtiest Places (And It's Not The Bathroom)
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