Study says bins at TSA checkpoint are the germiest thing in an airport

WTVD logo
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

VANTAA, Finland (WTVD) -- You may be surprised to know that the germiest item in an airport is something we're all required to touch -- the bins at the TSA checkpoint.

A new study, published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases, shows the bins where travelers place their shoes, liquids, and carry-ons are basically a hotbed for viruses.

Researchers swabbed and examined 90 different surfaces -- stairs, escalators, and bins -- inside Helsinki Airport during Feb. 2016 at the peak period of the 2015-16 annual influenza epidemic in Finland.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

In those samples, 10 different respiratory viruses, like the common cold, were found in 10 percent of the samples.

Yet, viruses were found in half of the samples taken from security trays; however, no viruses were detected on toilet bowls, handles, flush buttons, or on stall door locks.

To help germs from spreading, experts encourage using hand sanitizer and hand washing frequently.