Overnight and early flights are hard, sometimes a nice warm cup of tea or coffee to wake us up feels refreshing after hours in the air.
The water for tea and coffee comes from the tap, not from a bottle, while in flight. And that water could be downright disgusting. According to a 2004 EPA sample of 158 planes, 13 percent contained coliform. Two of the airplanes were found to have dangerous E.coli in the water. And as Business Insider reported, an additional EPA study found that one in every eight planes fails the agency’s standards for water safety.
Water onboard is regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure safe drinking water on the aircraft. The regulation gives broad discretion to airlines on how often they must test the water and flush the tanks.
According to a 2015 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, more microorganisms exist in the transport vehicles than in the water’s original source, thus transferring the organisms from truck to plane.
An infectious disease specialist told that people with a compromised immune system should steer clear of the in-flight beverage. He additionally noted that people with infants should “think twice” before filling a baby’s bottle with airplane tap water.
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