Germs and planesAirplanes are one of the places which is a haven for germs to breed.  I came across this article, “6 places germs breed in a plane” and I think it really hits the mark as to how you can protect yourself.

Here are the 6 areas to look for: Source

Tip 1 Water – Bring your own water onto the plane.    The EPA has been studying  airplane water for E.coli for six years.  In a study, 327 unnamed domestic and international water samples tested positive for E.coli. Also, be aware that ice cubes could be made with airplane water too.

Tip 2 Seat Pocket – Store your accessible items in a carry on bag and avoid stashing things in the seat pocket. All passengers touch the magazine in the pockets and items like candy wrapers, used tissues and other items can be found in the seat pocket.  This is very typical if you have kids who sit in the back seat where seat pockets are available.

Tip 3 Tray Table – Bring your own disinfectant wipes. Research has confirmed that all kinds of bacteria can be found on the tray tables from people resting their hands and arms on.  Use the table sparingly.

Tip 4 Airplane Meal – Bring your own food and be in control of your own snacks. A 2009 study by the FDA of some of the largest airplane kitchens found places crawling with roaches and also found Airline employees who were handling food with their bare hands or unwashed gloves.

Tip 5 Airplane pillow and blankets – Wear your own thick layers of clothes or socks and bring your own travel pillow. Some airlines like Southwest have removed pillows and blankets all together.

Tip 6 Airplane Lavatory – Use hand sanitizer if you have to use the lavatory.  Better yet, don’t use the bathroom if you don’t have to. The spraying water from the toilet and airline water to use for washing your hands. This area has the most moisture to collect bacteria.

Wow!! – The next time I fly, I am going to think twice about my ride on a plane.  This list really leaves a lot to be desired. However with flighs almost always filled to capacity, more attention should be given to these items.

Picture Robert S. Donovan