Tags: self-cleaning | airplane | bathroom | germ-free

Self-Cleaning Airplane Bathroom to Make Flying More Germ-Free

Image: Self-Cleaning Airplane Bathroom to Make Flying More Germ-Free
 (Boeing)

By    |   Friday, 04 Mar 2016 07:26 AM

A self-cleaning airplane bathroom could make flying less germy by using a special ultraviolet light to disinfect the space in moments, Boeing announced while revealing a prototype lavatory.

Competitor Airbus said it could do that, too, and improve "the ambiance and overall freshness."  

Boeing's news release said its Far ultraviolet light used in the prototype killed 99.99 percent of germs yet was harmless to humans. The bathroom would also have mostly touchless features, also minimizing the transmission of micro-organisms.

"We're trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight," said Jeanne Yu, Boeing's commercial airplanes director of environmental performance.

"In the prototype, we position the lights throughout the lavatory so that it floods the touch surfaces like the toilet seat, sink and countertops with the UV light once a person exits the lavatory. This sanitizing even helps eliminate odors." 

Boeing said the lavatory would only be hit with the ultraviolet light when empty and it only takes three seconds to disinfect the bathroom. The technology, though, needs "further study" before it could be offered to airlines.

Aviation consultant George Hamlin told Bloomberg Business that the technology could help stall the spread of infectious diseases by airline passengers.

"If it's a reasonable cost, I could see this becoming widespread," said Hamlin.

Ingo Wuggetzer, marketing vice president of Boeing rival Airbus, said his company is also working on cleaner bathroom technology that includes "anti-bacterial" surfaces, noted Bloomberg.

"Moreover, as well as improving (lavatory) hygiene, the ambiance and overall freshness will be noticeably enhanced," said Wuggetzer. "So, overall, Airbus is set to significantly raise the bar on the passengers' experience of using an in-flight lav."

Travelmath.com reported in 2015 that the dirtiest location on an airplane were tray tables, which sample tests showed had 2,155 "colony forming units," a measure of the number of bacteria or fungal cells that are able to multiply, per square inch, noted the Washington Post. Flush buttons in airplane bathrooms, for example, had only 265 CFUs, noted Travelmath.com.

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A self-cleaning airplane bathroom could make flying less germy by using a special ultraviolet light to disinfect the space in moments, Boeing announced while revealing a prototype lavatory.
self-cleaning, airplane, bathroom, germ-free
361
2016-26-04
Friday, 04 Mar 2016 07:26 AM
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