Filthy Lucre: Canadian Cash is the World’s “Most Unhygienic”

moneyIt’s #MoneyMonday, and with it comes some rather unfortunate news. Canadians might have a world-wide reputation for friendliness… but apparently we have no claims to cleanliness! At least when it comes to our cash. hired a team of microbiologists to study 20 of the world’s most commonly used bank notes for germs. They included paper currency from Canada, U.S., U.K., EU, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico and a dozen other nations in their tests.

Swab tests pinpointed a ‘wealth’ of bacteria on the bank notes. No one expected to find bills free of germs. After all, the company points out that “bills change hands an average of 110 times a year.”

But who’d have thought? Canadian bank notes carry more bacteria – by a long shot – than any other currency in the world!

It turns out that Canadian dollars are a gold mine of potential disease, with a whopping average of 209 bacterial colonies per bill. How does that compare? Brazil came in a distant second, with only 118 – that’s about half the amount! – of disease-causing germs on the notes tested.

If that isn’t enough to have you diving for the hand sanitizer, the study also revealed which kinds of bacteria were found.

“Canadian Dollars were found to be carrying many different types of harmful bacteria, such as Bacillus, which can cause food poisoning,” the report revealed. The analysis of the 20 currencies also commonly found bacteria that can cause urinary tract and respiratory fungal infections.

Canada dollar bacteriaEw.

So if Canadian currency is so ‘rich’ with germs, is any paper money safe?

Filling in the top 5 ‘filthy money’ winners are the Hong Kong dollar with 42 bacterial colonies, and the Indian rupee and Philippino peso tying for fifth place with a modest collection of ‘only’ 14 bacterial colonies.

By comparison, you could apparently eat off of the Euro notes sourced from France with zero bacterial colonies! U.S. dollars and Japanese yen weren’t far behind with 5, edging out cash from the U.K. that came in with just 7.

That may be reassuring to Canadians about travel to some of our favourite destinations.

But if the pandemic didn’t already have Canadians pivoting to contactless and digital payments – this study about our ‘dirty money’ may drive us to permanently emptying our wallets of cold, hard – and unhygienic – cash.

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