BACTERIAL BREEDING GROUND
YOU’RE more likely to catch something from a check-in kiosk than the toilets, according to a new report from travel insurance site Insurancequotes.com.
Researchers dispatched to three major US airports found that the most germ-laden surfaces, by far, were airline self-service check-ins. Swabs revealed 253,857 “colony-forming units” (CFUs) of bacteria and fungus per square inch – far more than the average of 172 CFUs found on toilet seats. One sample contained more than one million CFUs.
“With mass amounts of traffic, self check-in is the quick-stop for many flyers. It may offer more convenience, but at what cost?” the report said.
Other airport germ hotspots included gate seat armrests (21,630 CFUs) and drinking fountain buttons (19,181 CFUs). Aboard aircraft, the surfaces travellers would best avoid touching include lavatory flush buttons (95,145 CFUs), seat tray tables (11,595 CFUs) and seatbelt buckles (1,116 CFUs).