Back to Squawk list
  • 61

Airplane Poop Is Dangerous

Scientists tested airplane sewage from five different airports and discovered it contained a significantly higher abundance and diversity of antibiotic-resistant microbes, compared to sewage tested at a nearby wastewater plant and even nearby hospitals. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

sharon bias 25
Given that a person can start their travel in the DRC (Congo) and 36 hours later be at home in Sacramento, this study should be the foundation for more thorough studies on the matter. DRC has Ebola which is not spread by feces. But typhoid, cholera, polio and hepatitis can be. Imagine some maintenance worker disconnecting the tubing pumping clean a planes lav's, and there is a spill. Onto the clothes, he carriers it into a shower, then into a washing machine, etc. Will the shower and washing machine have hot enough water to kill the bugs without killing the human? May need to consider HazMat Decontamination Showers at the airports.‎
Barbara Fricks 15
Another reason to wear those shoes on the plane, especially when going to the bathroom!
aurodoc 10
I am in the medical business and I see many patients who are from Asia and Central America with antibiotic resistance where no oral medication can treat serious infection. Even IV antibiotics have limited effectiveness. You can buy antibiotics in these countries without prescription. It ain't no joke because we admit patients with severe sepsis and have no drugs to treat them and they die.

I can see how transmission can easily happen with overseas airline travel
joel wiley 8
Second reading of the article ran across the 'control' for the comparison. It was the local German treatment plant and hospitals. It would be interesting to see how the results matched similar controls from other countries in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Australia. Journal article itself can be found at
So you have a lot of travelers from all over the world, and the holding tank gets it from all of the passengers. Yes, it is one thing to drain the holding tank but then to flush the tank. Is it done? This would, in theory, reduce the contamination from previous tanks. As for the person on the ground that does the draining, they need to be properly geared up and trained in just what they are dealing with. All of this takes time and money the question is are the airlines willing and able to make that happen.
Ken Hardy 4
A lot of jokes can and are made on this subject, but its no laughing matter. just as various diseases were spread around the world by explorers hundreds of years ago, now it happens in just hours and we are starting to see the evidence in the spread of measles that we thought were once eradicated
Mike Petro 5
Can't think of many answers to "what do you do for work?" worse than "I analyze shit for a living".
lynx318 4
These pathologists endure odourly discomfort so you stay healthy, good sir.
David Sindall 0
So you are too sophisticated to shit then...
CDBrozovich 5
Folks, When I drop off my cargo at 30,000 feet, I use VIP!
If you expect nasty tailwinds, go with VIP!
Flight Attendants! Prepare for a sweet smelling landing!
Mark Kortum 2
As I read this article a video ad for chocolate candy making was running in the middle of the page. Yuck!
Ridiculously small seats, awful food, inflated charges for surprise that infectious turds would now be the norm on most commercial flights.
No sh*t Sherkock. Sorry...couldn't resist.
Rob Palmer 2
This is not good news for those who have to investigate crash sites as first responders.
Edward Bardes 2
They should probably hope that any fire is hot enough to sanitize any infected areas.
AWAAlum 1
To just name one.
bruce barton 1
How about boarding lounges where parents let their kids sleep and roll around on floors , where gentleman joe just walked after departing the urine soaked floor of the WC
OK..this is understandable,even though a "yucky" memories of the airport in that regard are of the poor rammpers who had to clean the lavs and replace the "blue goo" as we called it,as well as suction out the potties..none of them wanted that job and all wore long heavy rubber type gloves..the airlines do not supply Lysol type sprays in the lavs either for security purposes..
Chris DiCenso 3
That "Blue goo" you mentioned isn't even a disinfectant, it's just a deodorizer. Unless the airlines have changed juices since my mechanic days at NWA ('92-'05).
AWAAlum 1
Maybe the problem doesn't originate from the, um, donor, but rather something chemically happening in the blue goo...resulting in the offending blue goo poo.
zuluzuluzulu 1
i have seen many ramp rats dump waste tanks on themselves.
Fred B Rillo 1
Thry should be testing for micro plastics as well. It seems we are all being bombarded with micro plastics particles in the air we breathe, the foid we eat and the water we drink.
Mike Duralia -1
Apparently all the flights in the test study originated in San Francisco... things that make you go Hmmm...
AWAAlum 6
So ... there's something other than your heart you should leave in San Francisco.
Don Quixote 4
Everyone should leave San Francisco.
lynx318 0
Not even john Mcclane would visit San Francisco.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

mosatch 32
Given the expense of treating mrsa and other resistant bacteria, plus the international transmission vectors, seems like useful knowledge.
jptq63 6
Agree this is useful (very in my view) knowledge. I noted the study was done in Europe (Germany it seems), so where did all that shlitz (people poop) come from to start? I.e. is much of the source from areas where antibiotics are not well regulated / over used. Not that is any of these nasty bugs find your gut will it matter where it found its way into your system....
Brian Jones -2
Worst flight ever, Sanfrancisco - Dubai on Emirates. Only flight I ever got food poisoning. When I complained Emirates 'was like "tough sh!t"'
Will never fly Emirates again. Poop airline.
Tommy Boy -6
It makes one wonder why “this study clearly shows that the antibiotic-resistance problem is a global problem, and a global effort is necessary to tackle this severe threat for human and animal health.” when samples were limited to 5 German Airports. Unless the same results are found on at least four continents, this would appear to be a German problem.
Probably the aircraft are from different countries and continents.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.