Forbes, October 5, 2020
By Lois Alter Mark
When 17-year-old Henry Hurowitz fell asleep on an airplane tray table and woke up with a severe rash on his face, he was determined to find out what happened and started doing research.
It turns out that the germs on those tray tables last way longer than the snacks and beverages they hold, and Hurowitz decided to do something about it.
And that was before the pandemic hit.
He and his Junior Achievement of South Florida club members created Germ Genie™, a travel kit filled with TSA-compliant essentials for staying germ-free, including tray table placemats which have become their signature item – and which have become even more important since COVID-19.
Here’s what Hurowitz has to say about making germ-free travel simple and accessible to everyone.
Germ Genie™ is such a great idea. How did it come about?
After falling asleep on an airplane tray table in July 2019, I woke up with a terrible rash on my face. I looked into it and was shocked to discover that they are actually eight times dirtier than a toilet flush button. Studies show that tray tables have contained cold viruses, human parainfluenza viruses, norovirus, the superbug MRSA and, most recently, COVID-19. But there were very limited solutions, which led to the idea of the Airplane Tray Table Placemat.