Germs and bacteria are everywhere, a nightmare that haunts us anywhere, even at high altitudes. And when it comes to traveling by plane, it’s not just the proximity to the bathroom, maybe for many hours, or a passenger who is too unhygienic to represent a problem, because there are so many really dirty places we’ve never noticed. And no, the bathroom does not fall into this classification, because it is one of the cleanest places. Here’s what the Time says :
1. Air vents and belt buckles
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Overhead Console Inside The Passenger Aircraft
The air intakes above each seat are great for recirculating air and for cooling up heated passengers, but as noted by the TravelMath site, there are more bacteria in the air vents than on the toilet flush buttons.
Same level of dirt that is found on the belt buckles, continuously touched and used by hundreds of passengers, at least twice during the same flight.
2. Backrest pocket
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Most passengers use the seat pocket in front of them like a trash can. It is not difficult for stewardesses and stewards to find it stuffed with rubbish, dirty handkerchiefs, used diapers and much more.
On airplanes that make quick stops on the ground, the cleaners may not even have time to empty the pockets of the seats, let alone disinfect the fabric. And a study by Auburn University in Alabama found that germs that proliferate within the pocket survive for up to seven days.
3. Seats overlooking the corridor
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The choice of the place facing the corridor offers the possibility for the passenger to get up whenever he wants. A freedom that, however, involves some risk. The headrests of these seats are the dirtiest of all, as people walking along the corridor tend to rest their hands to support themselves and not fall. And often they do it after leaving the bathroom.
So it is always good to avoid touching your face, putting your hands in your mouth or rubbing your eyes after touching these seats.
4. Tray tables
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The dirtiest place on a plane is a few inches from the legs. A study by TravelMath has analyzed the solid surfaces present in the aircraft and from the data emerged the tables on which we eat are the dirtiest areas of all: on these there was an eight times greater number of bacteria than the toilet.
Dr. Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist, explained to Time that the tables analyzed showed traces of cold, parainfluenza, norovirus (which can cause diarrhea and vomiting) and MRSA, which causes skin infections. .
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Even our luggage does not escape the bacterial invasion: on the cases, in fact, up to 80 million bacteria accumulate before reaching the final destination, whether it is a house or a hotel.
According to the research, the suitcases are handled by at least eight people during transport: four baggage handlers, two taxi drivers, a hotel concierge and a member of the airline staff. Given that each person has more than 10 million bacteria on their hands, compared to 33,000 in public areas, it is estimated that luggage can come into contact with more germs than one might think.