When it comes to your health, hand washing is touted as one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illnesses. Hand sanitizer sales have steadily climbed throughout the years and more people are cautious about what they touch. Unfortunately, that cautiousness does not extend to your money.
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.