A New Study Examined The Most Polluted Area In The Airport

A new study reveals the airport items that you should not touch. Researchers have found that items that came into contact with passengers are more polluted than you can imagine. The problem is that it will be very difficult for you to get away from it.

According to a new issue of BMC Infectious Diseases, a new study examined the most polluted areas on the way to a flight, one of which is even more contaminated than the bathroom toilet.

During the winter of 2015-2016, a team of British and Finnish researchers carried out tests at Finland’s Helsinki-Venta airport at the height of the flu season. From areas that came into contact with passengers, the researchers took samples on different surfaces to identify bacterial culture. Meanwhile, the scientists were also collected samples from the air to see if the airspace had viruses.

What are the most polluted places in the airport?

A total of 90 samples were collected, including toilets, elevator buttons, chair handles, trolley handles, safety inspection plastic containers, toys in play areas for children, and more. The researchers found that the most polluted are plastic containers where there are four out of eight viruses, including adenovirus and influenza viruses which results to symptoms of cold and flu, as well as  cold virus, rhinovirus, and corona virus.

“Plastic containers go from passenger to passenger and each comes into contact with hundreds of passengers,” wrote the researchers. “Furthermore, the tanks are sealed without holes, so that the viruses can survive for a long time.” It turns out that the containers are not even sterilized “Security teams have to disinfect passenger containers to reduce the risk of infection.”

In addition to the plastic containers in the safety check, additional surfaces containing high concentrations of viruses included escalator handles, security inspection surfaces, and toys in the playgrounds. In 40 percent of cases, adenovirus was the most common. Other viruses found were corona (30 %), rhino (20 %) and influenza A (10 %). Only the adenovirus is found in the air space samples, usually around the security check area. Surprisingly, there were no respiratory viruses found in the bathrooms whether it was in the toilet, water drop button, or door handle. This fact makes sense to the researchers as passengers try to avoid surface contact in the public bathrooms as much as possible.

It is important to emphasize that only one airport and one season of the year were studied to the research. Results can vary from other airport and other seasons. Furthermore, the researchers have not shown that the viruses found actually caused virus infections. However, critics noted that previous studies have shown that the viruses found in public places can survive for days.

“People can reduce the risk of infection by carefully washing their hands and coughing in their elbows or tissues, not the palm or air,” said University of Nottingham Professor John Van Tamm, co-author of the study. Simple measures can be taken to reduce the spread of pandemics in public areas such as airports where a large number of people travel around the world.