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The Dirtiest Places on Airplanes

By Sara Butler

Flying has a reputation for being a kind of unhealthy activity. Many people complain of getting sick on airplanes, which may very well be true -- just not for the reasons you may expect. There are some places on an airplane that are germ magnets. If you want to try to stay healthy while traveling, then you probably better avoid these places -- and keep that hand sanitizer handy!

Airplanes Can Make You Sick

An important fact to note about airplane travel is that it does make some people more susceptible to illness. The humidity in the cabin is usually under 20 percent. The humidity you’re probably used to is around 30 percent, according to the World Health Organization. The dry air in planes impacts your mucous membranes, which just so happen to be your immune system's first line of defense. That leaves you more vulnerable to germs and more likely to be sick after travel.

The Tray Tables

You may want to return your tray tables to their upright position and leave them that way. Studies have found that tray tables on planes have eight times more bacteria per square inch than the toilet flush button. That’s means it’s filthier than a toilet seat – and you’re not going to be eating your snacks off a toilet seat in the near future, are you?

So don’t eat dinner off this tray unless you wipe it down really well with a sanitizing wipe before you do anything on it. Avoid eating directly off of it as well.

Seatbelt Buckles

This should really come as no surprise since people touch these continually and they don’t get wiped down very often. Again, they’re dirtier than a toilet seat, so you may want to wipe them down before belting yourself in and then wipe your hands down well once you’re securely fastened.

The Restroom

You knew this one was going to be on here! Even though the bathrooms are cleaned regularly, so many people use them over the course of a flight they’re impossible to keep totally clean. Be wary of touching sinks, toilet seats, and flush handles. And make sure to always wash your hands when you’re done. And use a paper towel on the door latch on the way out too.

Staying healthy while you fly can be a challenge. You simply need to know the areas you can avoid or limit touching in order to keep from coming in contact with the most germs!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wayne, N.J.


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