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Infection Control

Credit cards rack up the germs

March 29, 2012
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LONDON — According to a recent study, nearly half of the credit cards we swipe without a second thought could be carrying high levels of bacteria, according to the European Cleaning Journal.

Tests have also shown that more than a quarter of paper money also reveal alarming levels of bacterial contamination, the article stated.

According to the article, a small-scale study carried out by Dr. Ron Cutler, senior lecturer at the school of biological and chemical sciences at the University of London, analyzed 200 pieces of paper money and 45 credit cards.

"We all handle money and credit cards on a daily basis, but it is unlikely that we wash our hands directly afterwards," said Dr Cutler.

"Good hand hygiene at all times can help prevent the spread of infection," Cutler added.

Overall around 80 percent of the paper money and 78 percent of the credit cards tested showed traces of bacteria — and some carried more germs than the average toilet seat, the article noted.

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