Researchers have found traces of vaginal bacteria and cocaine in dollar bills

Do you know how dirty your money really is?

Dollar bills get traded constantly and, depending on the denomination, they can stay in circulation for five to 15 years. And as you may have noticed, many people don’t wash their hands properly or as frequently as they should. That’s why bills are filled with all kinds of bacteria.

In a 2017 study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers swabbed $1 bills from a bank in New York City to analyze them. They found hundreds of species of microorganisms, including the ones that cause acne (the most abundant), as well as vaginal bacteria, and DNA from pets.

Since cash is also often streaked with drugs, in a study of 10 one-dollar bills from cities across the United States, nearly 80% of them had traces of cocaine.

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