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Synopsisof article “Paper Money Crawling With Germs” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/gam/Health/20010524/UCASHN.html
Dr.Peter Wender and his associates were cited as telling the annual meeting of theAmerican Society of Microbiology in Orlando, Fla. that dollar bills ingrocery-store checkout lanes and at high-school sporting events werecontaminated with staphylococcus aureus, bacteria found in the nose, andklebsiella pneumoniae, fecal bacteria. The story says that both bacteria canproduce a toxin that causes food poisoning and that can leave healthy peoplewretchedly sick.
Theresearch team also found that almost all the bills were contaminated with commongerms such as streptococcus, enterobacter, pseudomonas and other bugs that don’tpose much of a risk to the general public, but can be dangerous toimmune-compromised patients such as the frail elderly or people with HIV-AIDS.
Theresearch left no doubt that “money can be a vehicle for the rapid spread ofbacteria.”
Threedecades ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association published alandmark study on the cleanliness of cash. It found that 13 per cent of coinsand 42 per cent of bills harbored objectionable germs such as fecal bacteriaand staphylococcus aureus.
Thisnew study is different from previous research in the field because it tried tomeasure the presence of bacteria on money circulating in the general community,rather than in hospitals, in this case Dayton, Ohio. But it found high rates ofbacteria on dollar bills. Seven per cent of the money showed traces of the moreserious bacteria, 86 per cent harbored more mundane bugs, and only 7 per centwere germ-free.