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Good news for germophobes! Boeing introduces the self-cleaning airplane toilet

self-cleaning airplane toilet

Boeing’s prototype airplane lavatory uses far-ultraviolet light to sanitize surfaces.

(Credit: Boeing)

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Good news for germophobes! Boeing introduces the self-cleaning airplane toilet

In-flight services may be getting worse, but there’s at least one aspect of commercial air travel that might get better – thanks to the Boeing Co.’s self-cleaning toilet.

Boeing says its prototype lavatory uses far-ultraviolet light to kill 99.99 percent of germs in just three seconds after every use. The wavelength that’s used is deadly to microbes, but harmless to humans, the company says.

“We’re trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight,” Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ director of environmental performance, said today in a news release. “In the prototype, we position the lights throughout the lavatory so that it floods the touch surfaces like the toilet seat, sink and countertops with the UV light once a person exits the lavatory. This sanitizing even helps eliminate odors.”

The toilet seat lifts and closes itself so that all surfaces are exposed during the cleaning cycle. The lid and the seat, as well as the faucet, soap dispenser, trash flap and hand dryer, can be operated without using your hands. UV light sanitizes the water as it comes out of the tap. Boeing is also looking into a hands-free door latch and a vacuum vent system for the floor.

“Some of the touchless features are already in use on some Boeing airplanes today,” Yu said.

The UV technology isn’t ready for prime time yet, but Boeing has filed a patent for its future use. The “Clean Lavatory” prototype is in the running for a Crystal Cabin Award that’s due to be handed out April 5 at the Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo in Germany.

Now, if they could just do something about self-cleaning tray tables and self-widening seats …

source : GeekWire

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