Plane Toilet Can Kill Germs In Three Seconds
Boeing has developed an aeroplane bathroom that can automatically kill 99.9% of bacteria.
The moment someone exits the bathroom, ultraviolet (UV) lights sanitise all surfaces in just three seconds.
The toilet seat even automatically lifts so that the light can hit hard-to-reach areas.
Given that the flush button alone has more than 250 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch, the development is likely to be welcomed by flyers.
Boeing director Jeanne Yu said: "We're trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight."
The UV light is not the A or B type used in tanning beds and growing lights, so it is safe for humans.
Engineer Jamie Childress said the system makes microbes "explode".
He said: "The UV light destroys all known microbes by literally making them explode.
"It matches the resonant frequency of the molecular bonds on the outside of the microbes."
The company has filed a patent for the self-cleaning bathroom, which also has hands-free taps and soap dispensers, hand dryers and rubbish bins.
Boeing is also looking to develop hands-free door locks, as they are also magnets for bacteria.
A vacuum-system is also being developed to suck up any waste water and spillages that end up on the floor.
The other priority is finding ways of making tray tables cleaner as they have a higher density of bacteria per square inch.
Meanwhile Airbus is developing its own bacteria-killing bathrooms in a different way - it wants to fit them out with surfaces which automatically kill germs.