December 16, 2017
Hands taking us dollars out from wallet on the street
Wellness Tip

Dirty Money, Literally

by Berkeley Wellness  

Your parents may have been right to warn you to wash your hands after handling money: Banknotes harbor many types of bacteria, according to a new study in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, which analyzed banknotes collected in 15 hospitals and metro stations around Hong Kong.

The study found that the currency was surprisingly good at absorbing a wide range of living bacteria, including some that are known pathogens.

In an interview with the journal, the lead researcher called for public service ads advising people to wash their hands after handling money, and for banks to routinely disinfect banknotes—at least until we become a truly cashless society.

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