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Air travel can get pretty germy.

Cailey Rizzo
September 05, 2017

Most people know that germs can run rampant in an airplane — but far fewer think about the spread of germs that happens on the ground.

Every day, TSA security checkpoint trays pass through countless hands while carrying thousands of different pairs of shoes, watches, toiletry bags, and laptops. And how often these trays are thoroughly cleaned remains a mystery.

But Ohio's Akron-Canton Airport, in partnership with a local hospital, just implemented a new technology to combat the spread of germs through security.

The trays at airport security are now lined with orange mats and handles that will clean themselves between uses and prevent germs from spreading, according to the Canton Repository.

The liners use mineral nano-crystals that react with light to produce a chemical oxidation reaction that the manufacturers say is stronger than bleach. The mat skins work continuously for up to 90 days before needing to be replaced.

Akron-Canton is the first of 9,000 airports around the world that will use the self-cleaning trays at security checkpoints.

The airport repeatedly tested the liners to make them thin enough to pass through TSA security scanners without sacrificing cleaning power.

Now if only there could be a similar process for the airplane tray tables

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