Study shows security trays at airports contain more germs than airport toilets

Posted at 8:08 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 22:08:38-04
TSA airport security
FILE: Travelers pick up their bags after checked out at a security checkpoints area at Midway International Airport, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014., in Chicago. Airport expect busiest air travel days of the year are the Wednesday before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A study from BMC Infectious Diseases shows it isn’t the airport toilet seat you should be worried about, it’s the security bins when it comes to germs.

The study was conducted in Finland at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport during peak flu season. The study tested swabs from various surfaces, including toilet seats, handrails and divider glass at a passport control point among other locations.

Researchers collected samples weekly at three different time points in 2015 and 2016.

The study found that, “Of the surfaces tested, plastic security screening trays appeared to pose the highest potential risk, and handling these is almost inevitable for all embarking passengers.”

The study also said,  “To our knowledge, security trays are not routinely disinfected.”

Fifty percent of the samples taken from plastic trays tested positive for nucleic acid that could carry viruses. In comparison, no samples taken at airport restrooms tested positive.

It suggested that airports should put out hand sanitizer at entry points and exit points in security areas.

The researchers said this  was one of the first studies looking at the