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Travelers' War on Germs Gains Ally in Self-Cleaning Surfaces

Dec. 19, 2018
3 min read
Pathologist analyzing bacterial cultures in petri dsh
Travelers' War on Germs Gains Ally in Self-Cleaning Surfaces
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For travelers, the idea of interacting with dirty surfaces is a constant concern. While things like the self check-in kiosk might be convenient, they are one of the dirtiest things you will come into contact with while you are in an airport.

Things aren't looking much better once you head over to the security check point. The bins — used by thousands of passengers — carry all types of germs and viruses. Daily, thousands of shoes — who have been who knows where — get placed into bins. As the bins are used over and over, the transfer of germs to other items that later get placed into them like change, your car keys and electronics is unavoidable.

And if you think that "cleaning crew" that the gate agent says is on the plane while you wait to board is getting your ride spic and span before you enjoy your flight, unfortunately you'd be wrong.

For those of us who travel for business, vacation or are simply on a mission to satisfy our ever present wanderlust, the perceived cleanliness of a hotel, airport or plane can play a big role in our decision making when choosing how we fly and where we stay.

A line of products from NanoSeptic is looking to help calm some of those worries for passengers and guests. The product uses mineral crystals that are light-activated to create an oxidation process that kills germs and viruses that come in contact with the high-tech material. The process — which NanoSeptic says works better than bleach — means that the surface is always clean.

Akron-Canton airport (CAK) was the first airport to deploy the self-cleaning surfaces according to a report by NanoSeptic. Products include mats for the bottom of TSA bins and a flexible version of the material that can be added to touch points — doors, kiosks, hand rails and touchscreens — all around the airport to help in the war on germs.

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Image via NanoSeptic

Once you have managed to survive the gauntlet of the airport, taking your seat on the plane confronts you with an entirely new set of germ-riddled surfaces. Tray tables can be yet another point of concern for passengers. Most flyers report that they will attempt to clean those surfaces before placing personal items or food directly on the surface.

Surfaces like hotel vanities also pose a particular issue for most when it comes to putting our personal items, like toothbrushes, down on a surface. So, NanoSeptic has released a line of travel mats. The mats —just like the ones used in the TSA bins — give travelers the option of having an easily portable surface that is always clean. The mats are available in a range sizes and can be used in the bin at security, on the tray table while in the air and placed on the bathroom vanity in your hotel room once you have arrived.

NanoSeptic's small travel mat. Image via NanoSeptic

Hopefully airports, airlines and hotels will become more proactive about deploying new technologies like self-cleaning surfaces in the near future.

Featured image by UIG via Getty Images