Security check at Helsinki Airport poses health risk
03 Sep 2018, 01:17 ( 19 days ago) | updated: 03 Sep 2018, 01:30 ( 19 days ago)
Passengers should wash their hands quickly after going through the airport security checks. This is one of the recommendations based on a study by the supreme Finnish public health body, the Agency for Health and Wellbeing, into the conditions at the Helsinki international airport.
The investigation released on the weekend revealed that the plastic trays used for travelers to put gadgets and clothing in through the x-ray checking have a huge bacteria and virus load.
The toilets meanwhile got a clean bill. Samples from the upper covers of toilets, the flushing handle and the door handles gave no indications of viruses. The fact that janitors pop into toilets regularly can be an explanation.
The highest risks were found in a children's play corner. A plastic dog pet featured two contageous viruses. Experts of the Health and Wellbeing Agency concluded that the particular dog may have made hundreds of kids sick.
The buttons of the card payment terminals in the airport pharmacy also offered a good collection of the ailments the customers of the pharmacy appear to have had.
The security check trays carried adeno, influenza A, rhino and corona OC43. The pet dog featured at least adeno and rhino.
The recommendation for travelers to wash hands quickly after the security check is not that easy to follow, at least in Helsinki. There are wash basins in toilets, but their availability is limited compared to the number of travellers. Many customers actually tend to go directly from the security checks to enjoy shopping and cafeteria.
Commenting on the results, the weekend business magazine Talouselama noted that avoiding touching the trays or boxes in the security checks would "require major acrobatics".
There was no immediate comment from the airport authority as to whether the wearing of thin gloves all through the screening process could be allowed. The security attendants meanwhile have protective gloves.