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Money May Be Dirtier Than Toilet Seats

Money May Be Dirtier Than Toilet Seats

A new study from Australia is only the latest in a string of reports showing how dirty the money we carry really is. Melbourne’s Public Defender office checked out cash and credit cards in ten wallets. According to expert Peter Guerin, director of Bio-Clean, contamination on one $10 note was 6.4 times higher than readings from public lavatories.

The results were no better in a test carried out by the Wright Patterson Medical Center of Dayton, Ohio. Researchers approached students at a school concession stand and shoppers at a grocery store. Exchanging old dollars for brand new bills, they tested the dollars. Only four of 68 were relatively clean. The others contained bacteria that can infect healthy people and cause infections in those with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients.

A 2010 survey that looked at 1,280 banknotes in ten different countries, including Nigeria, Australia and the U.S., found the most bacteria on notes from low-income countries. Cotton-based notes tended to carry more contamination than polymer-based currencies.

A 2009 study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology reported that human influenza viruses could survive on money for 17 days. Fortunately, the viruses have only five minutes to do their work once they are transferred to fingers.

The take-home message from all of the studies is: more research is needed. We know we carry bacteria along with our money, but we donít know if it can actually make us sick. So the best advice is simply to wash our hands between handling the contents of our wallets and putting our fingers in our mouths.

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40 comments

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8:06PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

dah!

1:57PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

I constantly 'wash' my $1.00 and then iron them flat. I've been getting weird looks for years because I do that.

Why I do that?

Science experiment in High School Science class (real science, not that phony religious crap science) involving 20-$1.00 bills, a beaker filled with sterilized water, and a culture dish.

I swear I discovered a new life form in that dish!

10:41PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

This is scary, considering I work at the register at my work.

3:02AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Michael c you curmudgeonly old bastard you, even though you have no sense of humour and is plainly one of those old miserable gits, I need to explain further for you to really understand? Its an old joke! But with you being part of the morality police force, I can see you travelling the world righting wrongs, invading countries telling people what they should say and do, ...kind of...american...c'mon! At least  give a witty retort! You witless old fool, and what children exactly are on here? You being American, probably thinks that a eighteen year old is still a child, even though they can go to war and kill people! they still can't drink alcohol so is still a child! And is the subject matter of most of these posts aimed at the youth? I don't think so.  All that murder and sexual violence that is written about here so frequently. 
You're probably one of those prudes that love your CSI pretend snuff TV programs  that gets aired every night, but rails against the sight of a nipple. 

3:01AM PDT on Mar 31, 2012

Michael c you curmudgeonly old bastard you, even though you have no sense of humour and is plainly one of those old miserable gits, I need to explain further for you to really understand? Its an old joke! But with you being part of the morality police force, I can see you travelling the world righting wrongs, invading countries telling people what they should say and do, ...kind of...american...c'mon! At least  give a witty retort! You witless old fool, and what children exactly are on here? You being American, probably thinks that a eighteen year old is still a child, even though they can go to war and kill people! they still can't drink alcohol so is still a child! And is the subject matter of most of these posts aimed at the youth? I don't think so.  All that murder and sexual violence that is written about here so frequently. 
You're probably one of those prudes that love your CSI pretend snuff TV programs  that gets aired every night, but rails against the sight of a nipple. 

8:08PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

There are a lot of things dirtier than a toilet seat...Congress, Kochs, House of Representatives, the ENTIRE Republican party(including the Tea Party), and Rush Limbaugh.....

7:21PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Will R, Are you still on the Aged Old Timers Comedy Tour? If it is clean enough for our youthful, readers...please elaborate. Then again, never mind, but thanks for the moment.

5:30PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

This no surprise to me. Consider where money has been besides a cash register or a wallet. It is easy to believe how dirty it is. My father was in the medical profession and every time he got paid in cash, he would go to the sink in his office and wash the money with soap and water and hang it up to dry. He was ahead of his time in that respect.

5:17PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

This is hardly surprising. Money and keys are two of the dirtiest things around.

5:13PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Finally, having no cash has one advantage. Who knew being poor could be healthy?

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