Study reveals airport security trays carry more germs than toilets

The plastic trays that passengers put their hand luggage in at security checkpoints have the highest numbers of viruses of anywhere in an airport new research suggests

Study reveals airport security trays carry more germs than toilets

The researchers conclude from this study that all airports should provide hand sanitizers to the passengers before and after entry into each of the security checkpoints and these trays should undergo rigorous cleaning and disinfection at frequent intervals.

Scientists with the University of Nottingham and Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare found that the plastic bins we place our belongings in to be scanned by security are the germiest surfaces.

However, no respiratory viruses were found on the surfaces in the airport's toilets.

The germiest, most virus-laden surface in the airport is not the toilet, check-in desk or food counter.

The security checkpoint trays are the germiest things at the airport, according to a study published this week in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Four of the eight samples contained the rhinovirus or adenovirus - which cause cold-like symptoms.

The various surfaces were swabbed at Helsinki-Vantaa airport at peak-time as part of a scientific investigation carried out by experts from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare during the winter of 2016.

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A new study finds airport security bins are a hotbed for germs that can cause illnesses in humans, such as the flu and the common cold.

"These boxes typically cycle with high frequency to subsequent passengers, and are typically seized with a wide palm surface area and strong grip".

It was also discovered that the bacteria could live on similar hard surfaces up to two days.

A new report has found that plastic security trays at airports retain the HIGHEST level of viruses.

Surprisingly, of all the samples tested, security trays were found to be harboring the highest potential risk of viral contamination.

The results, they said, demonstrated that airports can serve as a potential risk-zone for an "emerging pandemic threat" - a prospect that has already become a major concern in the aftermath of the 2002 SARS outbreak, and the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Specifically, people who do not wash their hands well enough and don't bother covering up their coughs. People can help to minimise contagion by hygienic hand washing and coughing into a handkerchief, tissue or sleeve at all times but especially in public places, he said.

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