I was reading an interesting article about hotel rooms, that I will duplicate below, and it reminded me of airplanes and since many of my readers travel a good bit, it was my thought to post up some reminders / travel tips.
These days, I am flying with a baggie or baggies of the Clorox-type of disinfectant wipes. These are really multipurpose kinds of things and I will often take a few extras for seat-mates who get into a discussion with me and then get a bit paranoid about touching anything.
Basically, the AIR in airplanes is pretty good. They have improved their filtering and recycling times a lot in the last few years so that the contamination is reduced. This does not mean that all is good, since a sneeze directed at you is, well, directed AT you. Amazing how many people do not cover up. But the real dangers are other places — most notable is the tray table.
I guess the airlines clean them up once in a while, but disinfecting them does not appear high on their list of things to clean up and clean. Same with the top of the seat in front of you (where lots of people put their hands) and the armrests and seat belt buckles. So, I take a few seconds and wipe things down.
Janet Fang| posted up “Most contaminated surfaces in hotel rooms” at http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/rethinking-healthcare/most-contaminated-surfaces-in-hotel-rooms/9252 — which got me thinking about this in the first place. I reproduce parts of it below and suggest you trip over there and check it out.
The most heavily bacteria-laden:
- TV remote
- bedside lamp switch
- toilet and the bathroom sink
- items from the housekeepers’ carts, including sponges and mops, which pose a risk for cross-contamination of rooms
Surfaces with the lowest contamination:
- headboard on the bed
- curtain rods
- bathroom door handle
The researchers can’t say whether or not the bacteria detected can cause disease, however, the contamination levels are a reliable indicator of overall cleanliness. And many could pose a threat to those with compromised immune systems.
Visual assessment cannot tell if things are contaminated. Me, I am going to pack a few more of the disinfecting wipes! And give them to my seatmates.