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Dec 19th: “Dirty money”: are you getting the right change from microbe-contaminated money?

A blog from Saber Yezli summarises published data on the risks for spreading infection via banknotes.

The blog summarises 8 studies, of bank notes carried out in various different countries, showing that a variety of potentially pathogenic bacterial and fungal strains together with enteric parasites can be found.

Yezli reasons “we shouldn’t be surprised that bank notes and coins are contaminated with various bacteria. After all, we hardly expect them to be sterile. Our hands are colonized with millions of bacteria and money is the most frequently passed item in the world”. But he also rightly says “The question is, given the above: does it matter if money is contaminated with organisms?

Disinfection of the currencies in banks with UV light, supersonic or chemical means, producing bank notes from materials which inhibit bacterial growth or material with antimicrobial activity as well as replacement of traditional methods of trading with electronic money transactions,  have all been proposed, but he concludes “Personally I think proper hand hygiene and overall hygiene remain the best ways to counter this problem.”  Hygiene is everyones responsibility. Maybe the solution is more money laundering! 

The blog can be found at: http://www.micro-blog.info/2013/12/dirty-money-are-you-getting-the-right-change-from-microbe-contaminated-money/#!