Microbiology professor researches dirtiest parts of cabin
A University of Arizona microbiology professor, Charles Gerba, has researched the dirtiest parts of the aircraft cabin. The surfaces with the most harmful germs include not just the toilets but also tray tables and the latches on overhead bins, because these are rarely disinfected. He found the norovirus, the influenza virus, diarrhea and MRSA on plane tray tables. But with 50 to 75 people using the toilet on an average flight, the lavatory is the aircraft’s dirtiest spot.
“The tap water shuts off on you when you try to wash your hands and the sink is too small for people with large hands,” he complains, adding that the toilet door usually has E. coli on it after a long flight.
All passengers should carry hand sanitizer with them, Gerba advises.
[photo by Kristoferb]