Which Foreign Currency Has the Most Bacteria and Fecal Matter On It?

With all the talk on the declining value of the Euro and the British Pound and U.S. travelers taking advantage on the low currency exchange, we have to acknowledge that money can be disgusting. I’m not talking about its destructive nature and metaphorical ideals, I’m taking there’s gross stuff embedded in it fibers — like bacteria, feces and urine. We don’t know where that note has been.

I got on this discussion over the weekend about how the polls and straps on New York subways are pretty much the dirtiest thing on earth. I’m amazed that New Yorkers haven’t been turned into C.H.U.D.s by now.

After a few drinks, we talked about money and if banks do some sort of sanitation process with U.S. and foreign currency. Doubtful. Then which is dirtier, paper money or coins? I say paper because the fiber has more absorbent qualities where bad shit can get in. Coins are solid and can block bacteria … OR CAN IT?

Then we speculated about which country would have the dirtiest and cleanest money. We can’t prove that Americans have the most disgusting money and a proper international study would be to costly. Off the top of my head, I say Swedes have clean money because they are beautiful and efficient people and the worst is the Chinese due to air pollution and lacks industrial regulation.

To add you your list of things to  freak out over, let’s look at some articles about shit-smeared money:

Cash Carries Lots of Bacteria (ABC News): Researchers from the Wright Patterson Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, asked people standing in line at a grocery store checkout and at a high school concession stand to trade a $1 bill from their pocket for a new one … Five of the bills contained bacteria that can cause an infection in perfectly healthy people, and 59 of them (that’s 87 percent) were contaminated with bacteria that could cause an infection in anyone with a compromised immune system, such as people with HIV or cancer.

NYU’s Dirty Money Project: Scientists have also found that each banknote carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface as well as DNA from drug-resistant microbes. And, since a banknote is home to thousands of microbes – bacteria, fungi and pathogens, this situation can cause such illnesses as skin infections, stomach ulcers and food poisoning etc., scientists believe.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (WSJ): In a study of the public-health effect of new currency materials, researchers at Australia’s University of Ballarat recently tested bills taken in change from supermarkets, coffee shops and cafeterias in 10 countries.  While levels of bacteria varied widely from place to place, they usually found fewer on polymer bills than on cotton-based ones, according to their 2010 study in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet (NPR): The most common microbes on the bills, by far, are ones that cause acne … Other money dwellers included mouth microbes — because people lick their fingers when they count bills, Carlton says — and bacteria that thrive in the vagina.

Let’s stop right there, who’s putting money in their vaginas? Please don’t answer that.

Lesson we can learn here, please don’t make it rain at the club. That’s just biological warfare.

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