Going to the bathroom while flying could be about to get a lot more pleasant, after Boeing has released details of its new prototype for a self-cleaning lavatory.
The system works using far ultraviolet (UV) light, which has a shorter wavelength than normal UV light, and therefore doesn’t pose any risk to humans. However, it’s pretty bad news for any microbes that may be hitching a ride on the flight, as far UV has the same resonant frequency as the molecular bonds in the outer membranes of all bacteria and viruses.
As such, it causes significant damage to any microorganisms that are exposed to it, killing 99.99 percent of all bacteria.
What if an airplane bathroom could clean itself?Boeing engineers and designers have built a prototype lavatory that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to kill 99.99 percent of pathogens, thus sanitizing all the lavatory surfaces. Combined with touchless faucets, soap dispensers and more, the lavatory of the future could make for a more hygienic, less worrisome experience.Engineers in Commercial Airplanes Product Development and Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T) are working on the lavatory and other concepts that would make the overall cabin cleaner.
Posted by The Boeing Store on Thursday, 3 March 2016
Sensors are fitted in the bathroom in order to determine when it is vacant, at which point the far UV automatically switches on, zapping any microbes that may be lurking after each passenger’s visit to the little boys' or girls' room.
This is great news for hygiene-conscious flyers, as bacteria that get into an airplane’s circulating air supply can generate health effects, and recently forced a British Airways flight to conduct an emergency landing after one passenger left a particularly overpowering deposit in the restroom.