GERMS ON AIRPLANES
According to John Gobbels of MedJet Assist “The FAA doesn’t regulate, so frequency and thoroughness are left up to the airlines themselves,” He says that “as a rule of thumb, an aircraft is supposed to be completely wiped down after every 30 days of service or at 100 flying-hour intervals. But in theory, that means that an aircraft can be used for dozens of flights between deep cleanings.”
The Science Proves Risks of Germs and Diseases During Travel
In an article by Everett Potter in a Special for USA Today, he discusses the threats that result from the lack of more frequent cleanings on airplanes. “The real problems lie on the chair upholstery, the tray table, the armrests and the toilet handle, where bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli can live for up to a week on airplanes that aren’t properly cleaned. These findings are the result of a two-year study by a team of microbiologists and engineers at Auburn University in Alabama, who presented it at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting.
Protect Your Family From Germs During Travel
“I can’t say I was surprised by the findings,” said James Barbaree, professor associate and director of the Auburn University Detection & Food Safety Center and a 20-year veteran of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who led the study. “Tray tables had the highest levels of bacteria, and seat belts and armrests were also singled out as places where bacteria can survive.” Barbaree and his researchers tested six types of bacteria and learned that MRSA could last for up to 168 hours on the back pocket of an airplane chair, while E. coli could remain active for 96 hours on the armrest.
Although bacteria lived longer on porous surfaces and for shorter periods of time on hard plastic surfaces, those plastic surfaces were the most efficient at transmitting it to the next set of hands. Think of an armrest, the remote control or window shade, as well as the door handles of the bathroom.
Harmful bacteria can linger on airplane seat-back pockets, armrests for days
(Findings from study by American Society for Microbiology…)