An unpublished research reveals that due to the countless money exchanges that happen daily, it's no wonder why paper bills harbor thousands of microbes, including killer bacteria.
Some of those germs found on dollar bills are bacteria linked to pneumonia, staph infection, gastric ulcers, blood bacteria, and food poisoning.
The study is conducted by NYU's Center for Genomics and System Biology. Disturbingly, they discovered over 3,000 types of bacteria on paper bills.
According to the study, the most abundant type of bacteria found on paper money is the one that causes acne or pimples. However, they also found bacteria that have genes carrying antibiotic-resistant strains.
As reported earlier, these antibiotic-resistant strains are aggressive types of bacteria, called super bugs, that are responsible for making the human body unresponsive to life-saving antibiotics.
Aside from these killer bacteria, another recent study suggests that there are traces of flu virus found on some paper bills that they sampled. Research has found flu virus to survive on banknotes for 17 days when combined with mucus, which sounds doubly gross.
According to Time, the research finds $1 bill to be the dirtiest. In general, according to another study, lower denomination bank notes appear to be filthier than the higher denomination.
Researchers also reveal other interesting traces found in paper bills. They found traces of poop, cocaine, heroin, and even DNA of a white rhino.
With regards to drugs, the researchers found tiny amounts of cocaine on more than half of the samples. They are not surprised by the finding. Illegal drug transactions usually go down using cash only.
Interestingly, the study points out to the material used in making money that caused bacteria and other components to grow. According to the Daily Mail Online, a 2010 study supports this finding as they analyzed banknotes from 10 countries.
They found that bacteria prefer to grow on cotton-based material which is used in making dollar bills. Polymer-based plastic banknotes used in making Canadian dollar have lower presence of killer bacteria and other microbes.