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How to tips on aircraft hygiene
With the holiday season well and truly upon us, it might pay to take on board some handy hints from Ontario, Canada-based Enviro-Solutions about inflight hygiene - particularly as with planes being more crowded than usual, they are more likely to be 'germier' than usual.
Enviro-Solutions, a leading manufacturer of green cleaning chemicals, lists four of the germiest areas on airplanes as well as environmentally friendly ways travellers can make them cleaner and healthier:
Tray tables: People eat off the trays and place food, books, laptops, magazines, etc. -all of which can be germ carriers - on these surfaces.
Bin latches: In some studies, influenza viruses and even MRSA, have been found on these latches.
Lavatory door handles: Door handles as well as the handles on the lavatory wash basin and toilet can become germ-ridden during the course of the flight. In one study, E. coli was found on over 30% of the wash basin handles tested.
Seat pocket: It's not uncommon to find used tissues, stale food (and in one reported case, toenails) in there.
According to Jennifer Meek, marketing director for Charlotte Products/Enviro-Solutions, a simple, yet effective, way to clean tray tables is to use an environmentally preferable hand sanitiser before and after touching trays and other surfaces, especially before eating.
She also suggests washing hands as thoroughly as possible, drying them with a paper towel, using another paper towel to open the lavatory door, and a hand sanitiser for extra measure.
"A problem with airplane lavatory wash basins is that the water automatically shuts off very quickly," she explains. "Keep pressing the handle for more water until you have washed your hands for at least 20 seconds."
Other germ centers on airplanes include the following:
* Pillows and blankets; one study found that blankets are only cleaned every 30 days on some airlines
* Lavatory walls due to the spew of water and contaminants when the toilet is flushed
* Seat belts, seat backs, and arm rests
* Electronic controls
8th August 2013