Planes, trains and automobiles. The Steve Martin movie from the 80's captures our day and age in the 21st Century. Americans travel everyday, and during the holidays in particular, air travel is on the rise. Air travel is not for the faint of heart however. There’s a good deal of stress that can accompany air travelers, and if you’ve traveled much at all, airports are not usually a ‘walk in the park’. From heavy traffic and red lights in route to the airport, to shuttles, security line waits and baggage limits, the process of boarding a plane is a bit of a challenge. Maneuvering through an airport can sometimes resemble an urban type adventure race, or tough mudder course without the mud!
We’ve all been there. It would seem that by the time you arrived at your seat, provided that you’re not stuck in the dreaded middle row, the battle with flight logistics is over. However, as you begin to relax by settling in, maybe adjusting the shade by the window, and picking up the magazine from the seat back pouch in front of you, have you ever realized that you just engaged into a new battle? No, not with the person seated next to you, but rather, a war with germs, bacteria, and a host of unseen micro-organisms, all of which are flying with you.
Given the long time spent in crowded air cabins, many air travelers are concerned about the risks of catching a disease from other passengers. New research shows disease causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week.
According to a study conducted by Dr. James Barbaree and Kiril Vaglenov of Auburn University, the deadly antibiotic resistant MRSA as well as Ecoli can remain alive and well on surfaces within an airplane for up to 5 to 7 days.
"MRSA can cause skin infection and pneumonia," Barbaree said. "Ecoli is usually a food borne pathogen that can cause severe diarrhea, but the germ can be transmitted through contact". "These are going to be on airplanes," he said "Some people are carriers of MRSA."
The study included cultures measured on seat back trays, seat back pockets, arm-rests, seat cushions, window shades and toilet handles. The results revealed that MRSA bacteria can survive 7 days on a cloth seat pocket, 6 days on both the leather seat and armrest, 5 days on both window shade and tray table, and 4 days on the toilet handle. Meanwhile, E. Coli survived 4 days on a rubber armrest, 3 days on a table and 2 days on the flusher. A bit disturbing if you’re on a long flight.
On Fox News, Dr Devi Nampiaparampil from NYU School of Medicine adds more to the germ warfare battle pointing to things like water fountains, latches on bathroom stalls and overhead lights as other heavy bacteria-ridden objects that are often touched by passengers. Other studies tag tray tables as one of the worst germ culprits, going so far as to suggest that the tray you are eating peanuts on might have been a changing table on an earlier flight.
So how does one maneuver through a regular commute or holiday travels without getting sick, becoming a germ-a-phobe, or both? The NYU School of Medicine report encourages individuals to wash their hands often and refrain from touching parts of your face, particularly the eyes and mouth. Hand-washing regularly is definitely good, but most people don’t take the time for the full recommended 30 second wash time, and soap does not kill the bacteria, just merely ‘lifts’ it off. Antibacterial soaps became the rage in the 1990’s but due to the ingredient triclosan, the FDA is now warning the public of triclosan dangers, one of which is the possible role it might play in hormonal imbalance and thyroid problems. Alcohol based wipes, also widely used, are not recommended for pets and children and can be extremely harsh on skin, causing dryness and irritation.
Other options include 'new generation products' such as Nixall®. Nixall® is a product that utilizes hypochlorous acid, the same ingredient that your own body produces via white blood cells. The hypochlorous acid in every Nixall® bottle has been stabilized in a saline solution, and is utilized in various concentrations across pharmaceutical, veterinary and disinfecting/sanitizing professions. Hypochlorous Acid is especially pertinent to this article, as results from laboratory studies evaluating stabilized hypochlorous acid show it has fast-acting, broad-spectrum activity against microorganisms such as MRSA, Staph, C. diff, pnuemonia and turburculosis to name a few. Nixall’s EPA registered Disinfectant/Sanitizer in specific addresses all the above and also tackles viruses – something antibacterial soaps, and alcohol wipes can’t touch. Products like this are fast becoming the rage, and you can study more on this specific hospital grade disinfectant here.
For a more everyday use, Nixall® puts out a consumer Cleanser that comes in a spray form and is travel sized packaged as well. It contains no alcohols or harsh chemicals, is safe around kids and pets, and actually helps soften skin rather than causing dryness or irritation.
So next time you pack your flight carry on, I recommend a travel sized of Nixall® Cleanser. You can wipe down your tray table and even spray your seat cushion if you’d like. Use it on your hands after you touch some of those surfaces, as well as the electronic devices, bags and books that flew with you. Using Nixall® Cleanser on the surfaces of everything around you, including yourself, will help ensure a cleaner environment, and lower the chances of taking any of those microscopic bugs home with you! So, wash your hands and use Nixall®…. then you really can relax for a nice flight!!
Learn more at www.nixall.com .... or better yet, try a bottle or two.... with the holidays, we'll even help you at check out with a 25% discount. Just use the discount of NIX25 at checkout. Order your Nixall now!
* Nixall Cleanser has not been tested or registered as an antimicrobial disinfectant or sanitizer to kill or mitigate bacteria, viruses or pests on any surface - Please use our Nixall® Disinfectant/Sanitizer.