They found that the bathroom is not the dirtiest place in the airport.
Even if you avoid airport germs, previous studies have shown airplanes are equally as dirty.
Surprisingly, samples from the public toilets all returned a negative reading for any of the tested respiratory viruses. Other germ-infested areas include stair handrails, the passport control point and children's playground. Four out of eight samples contained the rhinovirus or adenovirus which is responsible for causing colds or flu-like symptoms.
The study posits that plastic trays pose the highest potential risk inside the airport especially because nearly everyone uses them.
"The plastic trays - used at airport checkpoints around the globe and touched by millions of passengers as they drop shoes, laptops, luggage and other items into them to clear X-ray scanners - have been found to harbor a variety of germs, including the ones responsible for the common cold", the Times reported.
"Many cleaning agents, household (antibacterial) wipes and anti-viral tissues are able to rapidly render influenza virus nonviable, offering multiple simple possibilities and opportunities for reducing the risk of indirect contact transmission", the scientists said. Because of the high amount of traffic of humans coming in and out of different countries, it is especially easy to spread diseases.
What's the most germ-filled spot in an airport?
"This study supports the case for improved public awareness of how viral infections spread", Jonathan Van Tram, professor of health protection at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, said in a statement.
The lead authors of the article, who hailed from Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare and the University of Nottingham, concluded that the screening trays "appear commonly contaminated", and that they are one of the surfaces at an airport where passengers are most likely to pick up harmful viruses.
You might want to throw a bottle of sanitizer into that clear plastic bag next time you head for airport security. "The results also provide new ideas for technical improvements in airport design and refurbishment".