WASHINGTON – Would you intentionally handle something that has harmful germs and bacteria all over it?
You do — every time you pull out a dollar bill from your wallet. Researchers at New York University’s “Dirty Money Project” collected 80 $1 bills from a Manhattan bank.
On the bills were at least 3,000 different types of bacteria, and only 20 percent of the non-human DNA was able to be identified. The rest was not even cataloged in genetic data banks.
As we pass the bills around, our hands come in contact with not only the most common microbe that can cause acne, but others that can lead to gastric ulcers, staph infections and pneumonia according to the Wall Street Journal. The study out of NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology even grew bacteria from several of the strains found on the bills.
Our wallets have become a petri dish for illness.
Kind of makes you want to run and wash your hands.