More than half of Brits fear germ risk from filthy money – with good reason


With phrases such as ‘toxic debt’, ‘euro crisis’ and ‘the ailing pound’ bandied about in the past few years, investors are wary about the currencies they are willing to handle.

But their fears are shared by more than half of Britons who think money is dirtier than an escalator handrail or a library book, according to a study.

On the continent, more than eight in ten people say handling cash is a dirty business – and they are right.

On average, European banknotes and coins contain 26,000 bacteria while sterling has 18,200 bacteria. New currency contains about 2,400 bacteria.

Prof Ian Thompson, of Oxford University’s engineering science department, said: ‘Brits’ perceptions of dirty cash are not without reason.

‘The euros we tested harboured an average of 11,000 bacteria, which for a number of pathogenic organisms is sufficient for passing on infection.’

The dirtiest currency was the Denmark krone which has…

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