Study: There’s no such thing as ‘clean money’

Our parents or elders warn us that coins carry germs and we should always wash our hands after holding money. But is this true?

How dirty handling money can be?

Student at University of Surrey tested the validity that money is filthy. Thousands of bacteria colonies were found in the money collected randomly from the pockets of students.

The experiment involved submerging the notes and coins in a substance which allows bacteria to produce quickly.

In a former study, the University of Surrey team emphasized how sneezing on hands then fingering objects could transfer bacteria.

Dr Simon Park said, ‘We wanted our undergraduates to get familiar with the fact we live in a bacteria world and bacteria is all around us, it’s on anything we interact with. The most common types found are skin bacteria but money has also been shown to harbour MRSA and food poisoning bacteria in other related studies.’

‘We found that money, be it coins or notes, harbours very large numbers of bacteria. It is something that we all share so it passes through many different hands, washed and unwashed.’

Dr Simon Par is a senior lecturer in molecular biology at the university.

He added that the populations of bacteria on currency are much larger and more diverse, and money is likely to carry disease-causing bacteria.

These images show the alarming amounts of bacteria that grow on the money we handle every day.

The University of Surrey science students captured photos of the bacteria which were living on the coins and notes.

The currency was placed onto the sterilize agar. Then monitored for three to four days. And if it had microbes, the growth will occur where agar is in contact.

The students discovered that there are thousands of bacteria colonies living on their money.

A person living in unsanitary way will contaminate the notes with bacteria and will pass to the hands of the next user. Improper hand washing, counting paper notes using saliva, coughing and sneezing on hands lead to the contamination.

Therefore, the researchers warn that money can actually carry dangerous illnesses.

The cash was washed and returned to the students, who were now aware of the vast amounts of bacteria they had been living in their pockets.



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