An Assessment of Oral Health Risk Associated with Handling of Currency Notes

Nagesh Bhat, Surekha Bhat, Kailash Asawa, Anil Agarwal


Background: The objective of this study was to identify the micro-organisms present on the currency notes circulating in Nashik city. Materials and Methods: A total of 25 currency notes (Five of each Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100) were randomly collected from open-air markets, milk-parlors, food-vendors, beggars, banks and petrol bunks. Persons handling the notes were asked to deposit them in sterile envelopes. The notes were taken to the laboratory immediately and micro-organisms were identified using standardized microbiological techniques. Results: Micro organisms were isolated from 100% of the currency notes. Mainly three species were isolated, namely Escherichia coli, Proteus spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. Conclusion: Infected currency was identified as a potential public health hazard, as pathogens could spread by circulating banknotes. We recommend that currency notes must be handled with caution.


Currency Notes;Paper Currency;Contamination


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