Germs Are in Plane Sight

By Matt Swenson, November 24, 2015

If you’ve ever felt like your airplane seat was nothing but a breeding ground for germs, your gut instinct wasn’t too far off the mark. But a new study on the germiest spots on a plane from travelmath.com, which breaks down the dirtiest places onboard, may surprise you with its results.

The grossest: Tray tables have a whopping 2,155 colony-forming units (the scientific—and horrifyingly accurate—way to estimate bacteria) per square inch. Don’t even think about pouring out your peanuts on that thing.

Watch out above: Overhead air vents hit 285 CFUs per square inch. Next time, skip closing the vent and wear a jacket (or ask for a blanket) to shield yourself from the cold air.

In the airport: Drinking fountain buttons registered 1,240 CFUs per square inch. Use the touch-free water dispensers instead to fill a reusable bottle.

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