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Sick from money, right?

Sick from money, right?


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Are pathogens lurking for money?
Children learn very early on that you shouldn't put money in your mouth. After all, health-threatening germs are lurking on the means of payment. But is that really true: Can dealing with money make us sick?

Money is supposed to make us sick
An old saying goes: "Money spoils the character." In fact, scientists have found that people with more money show less compassion. For example, researchers led by Michael Kraus from the University of California at San Francisco reported on their study, according to which people who belong financially to the upper class pay less attention to their fellow human beings.

The means of payment should not only be bad for the character, but also make people sick. Many are probably familiar with the warning from their childhood: “Pathogens sit on money”. An expert knows whether this is really true.

Germs on banknotes
In a message from the dpa news agency, the director of the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Prof. Petra Gastmeier, said that this is in principle true. Various studies from many countries have shown that bacteria and fungi can certainly be found on money.

One such study was the so-called “Dirty Money Project” by scientists from New York University (NYU). They reported that they discovered a surprisingly high number of microbes on banknotes that could potentially cause the disease. The means of payment is also “a medium of exchange for hundreds of different types of bacteria”, which are passed on from bank to banknote by hand.

Coins are sometimes slightly antibacterial
According to Gastmeier, these are primarily microorganisms that colonize the skin anyway and that generally do not cause any diseases. In countries such as India, however, multi-resistant pathogens have also been found.

"The organisms are found more on bills than on coins," says Gastmeier. According to the expert, coins made of a brass or copper alloy, for example, are slightly antibacterial. This is different with the cotton-based material from which notes are made. Therefore, the motto is: "Anyone who has had a lot to do with money should wash their hands." Above all before eating and before preparing food. (ad)

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