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What’s in Your Wallet? A Whole Lot of Germs
Posted By Candy Sagon On April 25, 2014 @ 3:49 pm In Health Talk | Comments Disabled
(Thinking about using that plastic credit card more often now?)
These kinds of microbes, which are found on many surfaces , are transferred when we touch things. Money, in particular, gets handed around a lot, say researchers with New York University’s aptly named Dirty Money Project.
The researchers, who are looking at ways disease-causing microbes  get spread in our communities, analyzed the genetic material on 80 one-dollar bills that they collected from a Manhattan bank. By using gene sequencing to identify the DNA, they identified many more kinds of bacteria than previous studies in which cells were examined under a microscope.
The results were “quite amazing to us,” Jane Carlton, director of genome sequencing at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, told the Wall Street Journal.  “We actually found that microbes grow on money.”
Adding to the problem: People tend to lick their fingers when counting money, she noted. And the absorbent cotton-linen blend paper used to make American bills may act like a germ incubator .
That may be why other countries are starting to use a flexible plastic polymer film for their currency. Some studies show the plastic doesn’t retain as much bacteria, although research published last year  in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control suggested just the opposite.
Suffice it to say, you need to practice good hygiene habits  after handling cash. Wash your hands or use sanitizer. Don’t lick your fingers to count it.
And for goodness sake, don’t put your money where your mouth is.
Photo: kcpetersen/iStock 
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/iStock_000006138156Small.jpg
 bacteria: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/12/17/are-antibacterial-soaps-safe-fda-finally-may-decide/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 ulcers: http://healthtools.aarp.org/learning-center/featured/stomach-ulcer?lcStart=1?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 pneumonia: http://healthtools.aarp.org/health/pneumonia?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 many surfaces: http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-03-2011/8-germiest-places.html
 >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=19061&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-HLTH
 disease-causing microbes: http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/home-improvement/info-03-2011/germs-in-your-house.html
 Wall Street Journal.: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303456104579489510784385696
 germ incubator: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/01/24/your-cellphone-has-more-germs-than-your-toilet/
 >> Get discounts on health services with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/category/supercategory/categoryId/724/subCategoryId/726/uSource/HCTN?intcmp=AE-BL-HEA-DISC
 research published last year: http://www.aricjournal.com/content/2/1/22
 hygiene habits: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/04/05/how-often-do-you-change-your-sheets-and-other-must-dos/
 kcpetersen/iStock: http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=2252028
 What Sleeping Position Reveals About a Relationship: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/04/23/relationship-test-how-close-do-you-sleep/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Top 10 Money Wasters: Don’t Spend On These: http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-2014/more-consumer-spending-regrets-photo.html#slide1?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
 Fight Fraud and ID Theft With the AARP Fraud Watch Network.: http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/fraud-watch-network/?intcmp=AE-BL-ENDART-ADV-FWN
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