by Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Open your wallet, take out a bank note, and look at it carefully. Is it crisp and new or relatively old and wrinkled? The older the bill, the more likely it has, at some point in its circulation, been up the nose of an illicit drug user or down the G-string of an exotic dancer.
Even if all the money in your wallet has lead a relatively family-friendly existence up to this point, it could still be teeming with bacteria that make you sick. This goes double if you have a compromised immune system.
According to recent published studies, 3 out of 4 bills are contaminated. Through the first study of its kind, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project[1. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303456104579489510784385696] compiled DNA findings from dollar bills. They discovered 3,000 different strains of bacteria.
Mouth, Fecal, and Vaginal Bacteria Found on Money
The most common microbes found on paper money include mouth microbes, vaginal bacteria, and fecal matter. The former is likely due to the licking of fingers to separate new bills; the two latter due to people not washing their hands after using the bathroom. Also found were bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, staph infections (including MRSA) and acne.
Money Used for Drugs Can Sicken Retail Workers
Other research studies have revealed that 90% of US bills contain traces of cocaine. It appears that this street drug binds to the green dye in money where it remains for weeks, months, and even years.
Methamphetamine contamination is also a possibility. In 2012, cashiers at a Circle K in Ann Arbor, Michigan became ill after handling money tainted with methamphetamine[3. http://www.annarbor.com/news/residue-from-meth-lab-sickens-workers-at-circle-k-gas-station-in-ann-arbor/]
Although becoming ill in this way is a rare occurrence, cashiers who regularly handle money may want to consider wearing gloves for the duration of their shift just to be safe.
Live Flu Virus May Remain on Money for 17 Days
Although many viruses and bacteria die off once they’ve been on a surface for 48 hours, paper money can transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days! Thanks to the Dirty Money Project, we now know that some bacteria actually grow on money. Other findings declare that paper money may be a contributing factor in the spread of pneumonia during the winter season.
Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens Also Cling to Paper Bills
In addition to spreading colds and flu, paper bills have also been shown to harbor antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Some bacteria was shown to be impervious to penicillin and methicillin; the latter which makes MRSA such a dangerous and virulent pathogen.
“Only Those with Compromised Immunity at Risk”
It concerns me when I hear or read “only those with compromised immunity at risk.” It’s as though certain threats only pertain to a small percentage of the population such as those with cancer or AIDs.
The sad truth is, millions of people are immunocompromised. If you have hay fever, food allergies, eczema, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, or any other type of chronic condition, your immunity is lower than it should be.
This leaves you at risk.
Protect Yourself from Bacterial Contamination
- Keep Your Hands Clean
To avoid getting sick from handling money, wash your hands often. Use soap and water as hot as you can stand it and lather for as long as it takes you to sing, “Happy Birthday” in your head.
There is no need to use antibacterial soap.
When you use a hand sanitizer, be sure it is Triclosan-free. Triclosan is a selectively-toxic chemical, slows your immune system and encourages antibiotic-resistance. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
The one consistent piece of medical advice I give out on a daily basis, regardless of ailment is to eat a healthy diet. Foods such as organic vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, butter, and coconut oil infuse your body with healing nutrition that keeps your immune system functioning at its best.
- Get Plenty of Rest
Without adequate rest, your immune system cannot do its job effectively. Most adults needs 6-8 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep each night for optimum health. Those with chronic conditions should aim for 8-10 hours when possible.
- Boost Your Immune System
If allergies, digestive disorders or an autoimmune disease increase your vulnerability to infection, it’s crucial to boost your immune system.
This is why I recommend adding two important supplements to your diet:
- Diamond Nutritional’s Foundation Vitamins
Even the healthiest diet cannot give you the complete nutrition you need to protect yourself from the everyday onslaught of pathogenic bacteria and environmental toxins. My Diamond Nutritional’s Foundation Vitamins offer complete, high-quality nutrition with no unnecessary fillers, binders or artificial colors.
- Diamond Nutritional’s Probiotic Formula
If the bacterial pathogens found on money are the “bad guys” threatening your health, probiotics are the “good guys” there to defend it. My Diamond Nutritional’s Probiotic Formula contains 6 strains of live, active cultures designed to improve your digestion, fight inflammation, and keep bad bacteria at bay.
Probiotics are also helpful in fighting chronic yeast infections and have even been shown to improve mood naturally without the side effects of prescription antidepressants!
There’s certainly no need to panic over the germs on money. Germs are there wherever you go. You can’t avoid them. Just keep your hands clean and boost your immune system so handling money won’t get you sick.
Money isn’t the Only Public Way to Contract Germs