Study: The plastic airport security trays are harbingers of disease

According to the findings of a new study, the plastic trays at airport security double as containers of respiratory viruses. Thanks, Science.



Good news! According to the results of a new study, your local airport is home to airborne disease, as half of the plastic trays you place your belongings in to pass through security carry many many viruses.

The study, published in the BioMed Central Infectious Diseases journal, tested swabs during the peak of the 2015-2016 flu season and discovered that 50% of the samples contained the rhinovirus or adenovirus, which both cause cold-like symptoms.

The lead authors concluded that the screening trays “appear commonly contaminated,” and that they are one of the surfaces at an airport where passengers are most likely to pick up harmful viruses.

“We found the highest frequency of respiratory viruses on plastic trays used in security check areas for depositing hand-carried luggage and personal items,” the scientists wrote.

Disappointingly, the scientists didn’t stop there, discovering that plastic bins aren’t the only place in airports where researchers found a frequent presence of cold-causing viruses.

On the buttons of the Helsinki Airport parking payment terminal, half of the samples tested positive for the same. Swabbing the counter and glass at passport control, one-in-three returned a result. However, the King of ick goes to a plastic toy dog in the airport’s children’s playground, returning a whopping 67%!

Probably best you pack hand sanitiser.

Or never fly again. Either or.


Share via