has submitted a patent application for a self-cleaning airplane bathroom.
lavatory, a prototype of which has been developed by Boeing engineers and
designers, would use ultraviolet (UV) light to kill what Boeing says are
99.99% of germs.
"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," explained Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes'
director of environmental performance.
Boeing says the cleaning system can disinfect all surfaces in the
bathroom after every use in three seconds.
Along with the self-cleaning technology, the prototype lavatory is
touchless, incorporating a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser, trash flap, hand
dryer and toilet lid. In addition, the lid would lift and lower automatically
between bathroom uses so that all surfaces are cleaned.
The lavatory has a way to go before it reaches market.
Boeing said the cleaning system will require more study before it can be
offered to airlines. Carriers would then have to retrofit planes, or
purchase new aircraft, in order to have the self-cleaning lavatories on their