New Study Shows How much Bacteria is Crawling On Your Money - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Study Shows How much Bacteria is Crawling On Your Money

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NBCRightNow.com - What is green and white and filled with germs? You might find the answer in your wallet.

Researchers from New York University’s Dirty Money project found there are hundreds of bacteria laying all over our cash.

Results from the study suggest each dollar bill could carry about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface including pneumonia and salmonella. It is not surprising because of how many hands those bills actually go through every day.

Germs are everywhere and unfortunately you can't avoid them all, but the best advice is to wash you hands between handling money.

Biologists said currency might be one way antibiotic-resistant genes move around cities.

So far, researchers at the university sequenced all the DAN found on about 80 dollar bills from a Manhattan bank to come up with the findings, however, they could identify only about 20-percent of the non-human DNA they found because so many microorganisms have not yet been cataloged in genetic data banks.

The question now is how do we clean up our money? Some countries are printing their money on polymer film and research shows less bacteria grows on the plastic currency than our cotton based dollars, but the ones that do cling onto those bills live longer.

A U.S. one-dollar bill usually stays in circulation for 21 months, picking up germs from across the country.  Researchers found the most common type of germ on the bills was the bacteria that causes acne.
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