Delta Airlines provided Auburn researchers with actual armrests, toilet flush handles, tray tables, window shades, seats and seat pockets for the study; in which researchers inoculated them with bacteria and stored them in conditions meant to simulate a pressurized cabin: 75°F with 20% humidity.
The study found MRSA, a bug resistant to most antibiotics, can live on a seat pocket for up to a week.
The study showed a deadly type of E. Coli can survive on armrests for up to four days, on a plane’s tray table for up to three days and on toilet handles for two days.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Airliner Cabin Environment Research Center supported the study.
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