Security bins the dirties place in the airport, study says

Atlanta - On the heels of a new study that found that plastic bins for items going through security, not toilets, are the biggest culprit for spreading germs in airports, PETA is set to place ads inside the bins at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport-the busiest airport in the USA -that warn, "Meat Kills-Go Vegan", and list some of the numerous health risks associated with consuming animal flesh.

A new study from the UK's University of Nottingham found that security trays carry the most germs at airports.

Four of the eight samples contained the rhinovirus or adenovirus, which both cause cold-like symptoms.

The findings showed viral nucleic acid was found in samples from multiple areas of a passenger's standard pathway through the airport. "The presence of microbes in the environment of an airport has not been investigated previously", says a virology expert involved in the study.

"The plastic trays - used at airport checkpoints around the globe and touched by millions of passengers as they drop shoes, laptops, luggage and other items into them to clear X-ray scanners - have been found to harbor a variety of germs, including the ones responsible for the common cold", the Times reported. The researchers did not test for food-borne diseases, they note.

Air travel brings far-flung people together, but it also brings them together with each other's germs.

At the conclusion of the study centered on Helsinki Airport, the researchers concluded that airports should offer hand sanitizer to travelers before and after each security checkpoint, and that the baggage trays should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Staircase rails and payment terminals. Viruses appeared in almost half of the plastic trays, the highest fraction of all the surfaces tested.

In these cases, the scientists concluded, the best approach might be the simplest one: a good old-fashioned wipedown. By contrast, the researchers did not find any lingering respiratory viruses in the airport's toilet bowls. But some swabs also picked up the Influenza A virus.

The most common virus detected in the study?

Vanessa Coleman

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