Everyone worries about getting sick from that stale, recirculated air on planes. But what you really have to worry about is the stuff you touch. A new study looked at how many bacteria and fungal cells there were on different surfaces.
1. The "flush" button in the airplane bathroom. On average, they have about 95,000 CFUs per square inch. That stands for "colony-forming units." 95,000 is almost five times as much bacteria as you'll find in the average kitchen sink.
2. Your tray table, just under 12,000 CFUs.
3. Your seat belt. Specifically the buckle. Just over 1,000 CFUs.
As for the AIRPORT…
1. The self check-in kiosks. The screens had an average of 255,000 CFUs. So almost three times as many as the "flush" button. And one they tested had over a MILLION.
2. The armrests on the chairs at your gate, 22,000 CFUs. That's slightly higher than what you'd find in a kitchen sink.
3. The button on water fountains, 19,000 CFUs.