Boeing is working on a system that kills 99.9 percent of the pathogens in airplane bathroom, using UV (ultra violet) light.
UV lights turn on when person leaves the bathroom and sanitizes all surfaces, minimizing the potential transmission of microbes.
The lavatory uses far UV light, which is different from the ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B light used in tanning beds or grow lights, so it’s not harmful to humans. It is harmful to bacteria and pathogens and kills those organisms that are left on the surfaces of the lavatory.
“The UV light destroys all known microbes by literally making them explode,” said Jamie Childress, Associate Technical Fellow and a BR&T engineer. “It matches the resonant frequency of the molecular bonds on the outside of the microbes.”
“We believe that using the far UV is the key to making those surfaces cleaner,” King said. “We position the lights throughout the lavatory so that it floods the touch surfaces like the toilet seat, sink, countertops, etc. with the UV light. This sanitizing even eliminates odors from bacteria so that passengers can have a more pleasant experience.”