New Self-Cleaning TSA Bins Help Make Security Checkpoints Less Gross

A TSA checkpoint is a bigger germ farm than the monkey in Outbreak. If you don’t have PreCheck you have to take off your shoes, and the checkpoint floors can be as bad as a US airline lavatory at the end of a Hong Kong flight.

Your fellow sick passengers touch the bins, they even put their dirty tissue sand handkerchiefs in them before going through the nude-o-scope pockets empty. TSA provides their employees with blue gloves, not you.

Akron-Canton airport has a solution for cleaner bins at security checkpoints, provided to them by a regional hospital and using nanotechnology.

GREEN Travelers at Akron-Canton Airport will notice orange liners on the handles and mats inside bins used in the security line before entering the boarding area.

The liners, developed by NanoTouch Materials, help kill germs. Using mineral nano-crystals that react with light, the material creates a self-cleaning oxidation reaction that the company says is stronger than bleach and continuously is breaking down organic contaminants.

…The NanoSeptic mats are one-sixteenth of an inch thick and sit inside the bins, while NanoSeptic skins are attached like stickers to the bin handles. The skins should be switched every 90 days, while mats can remain in service for about one year.

The technology is expected to spread to 9000 airports worldwide.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hopefully nanocrystal technology can be used to help prevent disease in all the TSA bins and also the floor where passengers remove their footwear during passenger security screening.

  2. If you continue to fly long enough, you’ll reach the age when removing your shoes isn’t required.

    As for hand sanitizer, my dermatologist cautions about overusing it because it damages the skin and can encourage bacteria to develop immunity to the anti-bacterial ingredients. She suggests soap and hot water. Or cheap non-latex gloves.

  3. Naziebis right, the trend is away from hand sanitizer.

    I was told to put my cpap machine in one of the bins without anything under it. When I complained that it was unsanitary, I got pulled aside for interrogation.

  4. There’s a critically important factor they forgot to consider before deploying this solution. IT REQUIRES LIGHT. The bins are stacked prior to & after use by a passenger, preventing any light from reaching the surfaces, meaning ZERO disinfection takes place. Even when in use for the brief time a passenger uses the bin, the mat is mostly or entirely blocked from light by the belongings placed in the bin, then the bin spends most of the time inside the dark scanner. This all adds up to no light reaching the target surface, meaning NO DISINFECTION EVER OCCURS, especially since it takes hours to disinfect even if light is present. Someone really should have thought this through better. The statement that the surface oxidizes better than bleach is very misleading, leading the reader to believe it’s more effective at killing pathogens than bleach, which is absolutely not the case. Bleach takes minutes to kill pathogens, this surface takes hours in ideal conditions, but in this case, takes forever, so it’s ineffective in this particular deployment. That’s why you do clinicals.

  5. The idea of making the security trays Antimicrobial is not new. We have made security trays for about ten years with this feature.
    Several major airports in Europe and Scandinavia uses Our products.
    The lab tests of Our items shows a killing rate of more than 99,90 % of MRSA, e.coli and other bacteria using the ISO 22196 / JIS Z 2801:2000 test Methods.

  6. Ted, I think the assessment you’ve given jumps to some conclusions that aren’t true based on extensive independent lab test. While the surface does require light, lab tests have shown that there is significant oxidation of contaminants in as little as 5 minutes. And if you look at how the TSA screening area works, bins have ample time in the light to accomplish some significant cleaning action. And the bigger question is, what kind of cleaning is being done without the self-cleaning mat? I get that you sell a disinfection product based on UV light, but there’s opportunity for multiple technologies to help create a holistic approach.

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