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Are There Germs on Cash?

Cash Might Be The Grossest Thing You'll Touch All Day

Services like Uber, Deliveroo, and WashMen make it easy to go weeks at a time without carrying around any cash. Though sometimes you'll find yourself in a situation where you need a few dirhams, a new study might convince you to go completely cashless in 2017.

According to a new study from Scientific American, 94% of $1 USD bills contain some sort of bacteria.

"There is no definitive research that connects enough dots to prove dirty money actually makes people sick, but we do have strong circumstantial evidence," the authors explain. "Influenza, norovirus, rhinovirus and others have all been transmitted via hand-to-hand or surface-to-hand contact in studies, suggesting pathogens could readily travel a hand-money-hand route. In one study 10 subjects handled a coffee cup contaminated with rhinovirus — and half subsequently developed an infection."

Basically, even the crisp bills you get from an ATM are germ-ridden, and, to make matters worse, people are less likely to wash their hands after touching money than they are after shaking a stranger's hand, or touching a pole on the metro.

The bottom line is, wash your hands regularly, whether you're carrying cash or not, but be aware of the germs that are probably living in your wallet.

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