Wear gloves, you lazy pigs.
Study: Credit cards carry more
types of bacteria than coins, cash
Payment tablets, like the ones restaurant, bar and food truck patrons tap and sign with their bare fingers, were found to have more different types of bacteria than any other payment method studied. And credit cards had more different types of bacteria than cash and coins, contrary to the popular perception of money as being “dirty.”
Some of the nastiest bugs found on the surfaces of the payment methods studied included Staphylococcus aureus– the culprit behind staph infections – and Salmonella enterica, a common source of food poisoning.
David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology, said that while cash, cards and tablets can pick up bacteria from human skin, the microbes can’t thrive there because there’s no food source.
what does that matter with viruses?
Gold and silver coins were antimicrobial. Our ancestors were clever.
A study reveals that half of all credit cards sampled tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — better known as the deadly MRSA infection
CDC spokeswoman Melissa Dankel calls credit cards a natural fomite, the medical term for an inanimate object that can transmit disease.
McQuaig says the widespread presence of MRSA is one reason cashiers, toll booth workers and TSA agents increasingly wear gloves on the job.
Lisa Holmes, a longtime vendor to the Department of Veterans Affairs, began her one-woman crusade against plastic fomites more than a decade ago after observing commonplace cross-contamination while making her rounds of VA hospitals.
“In one, the woman who registers veterans all day had lesions all over her hands from their plastic ID cards; she couldn’t wear gloves because she couldn’t type with them. In another, a lady caregiver was leaning over a patient with her badge touching his face, then turns and leans over another veteran and does the same thing. I said, ‘whoa, we’ve got to fix this thing,’” she recalls….
Holmes says card companies and issuers alike seem to have higher priorities these days than the health of their cardholders. While the additional manufacturing cost would be inconsequential, in the industry’s view, the idea of rolling out a new “cleaner” card just now would open a whole can of public relations worms best left unopened, she says.
There’s one other obstacle as well: the antimicrobial card doesn’t kill germs per se; it simply inhibits their growth.
Holmes insists she’s on the right side of history and that one day her patent will be inside every purse and wallet in America.
“It’s just a matter of getting a credit card company that is willing to develop it. They don’t want to embrace it right now but once they do, everyone will want this thing,” she says. “I’m hoping the plastic badges will catch on, too. You have to fix it all.”
She was right.
Plastic is the WORST. Viruses love it.
Handing someone a wad of sweaty bills may be bad manners, but it’s not likely to make them sick. Even though money is covered in bacteria, there’s a low risk of becoming sick from touching it, said Christopher Mason, an assistant professor in the department of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell University, who has researched the amount of bacteria on common surfaces, such as the New York City subway.
Some 11% of hands, 8% of credit cards and 6% of paper money showed levels of bacteria equal to those in a dirty toilet bowl, according to a 2012 study of 272 people by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London. (Although, it’s important to note, the study was funded by a handwash company.) “Microbes are everywhere, and most of them are beneficial to us rather than harmful,” said Jane Carlton, a professor of biology and the director of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at NYU, who worked on the Dirty Money Project, in an email.
BAN HANDS, PAPERCHASE.
I think it’s actually illegal to ban cash.
That’s legal tender.
Banning cards in a shop is fine, legal tender is always legal.
You literally cannot ban cash as a shop.
That said, most people carry the kind of bacteria found on money and credit cards. Because paper dollars have a porous surface, they act like sponges and pick up a large amount of bacteria, Mason said, but the same bacteria is often found on skin.
Cash absorbs so it’s actually safer. Our cotton money is really absorbent.
“You should be no more afraid of touching money than shaking someone’s hand,” he said.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Topical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London looked into the contamination of hands, money, and credit and debit cards in England. From their samplings they found that 1 in 10 bank cards were contaminated with bacteria, and 1 in 7 bills were also contaminated.
What were they contaminated with? Bacteria like E.Coli, Staphylococci and most notably, fecal bacteria. This means about 10 percent of cards and 14 percent of money is swimming with bacteria. Although 91 percent of respondents claimed they were washing their hands after using the restroom, the findings showed otherwise. Also, take into account how many people handle your card, such as a cashier, whose hands may also be contaminated.
The study found that 28 percent of the swabs taken were contaminated, 26 percent of them with fecal bacteria. Of the samples taken 11 percent of hands, 8 percent of cards and 6 percent of bills were found to be contaminated with about the same amount of bacteria found in a dirty toilet bowl.
There were 272 participants in the study who provided cards, money, and their hands to be swabbed and inspected for bacteria as well as providing information about their hygienic habits. Now that we have provided you with this information isn’t it about time you went and cleaned your credit cards.
You can easily clean your cards by using disinfectant wipes. If you’re looking to keep your cards as clean as possible use a wallet, try to avoid having multiple touch your card (unless it is needed), and avoid laying your card down on public surfaces like the cashier counter.