While most people are coming to agree that digital transactions are quicker and more convenient than using cash or checks, I bet most people don’t give a lot of thought to the fact that it’s healthier for you. It’s not just that not carrying a lot of cash will make you less of a robbery target, there’s more to it than that.
Money is dirty, plain and simple. Anything that passes through a lot of hands is going to be. And unlike coins, paper money is porous and can soak up and hold onto all sorts of nastiness. I rarely use cash anymore, but I have gotten some bills that stank so bad I didn’t want to use them. I’ve also gotten bills with mystery substances on them that I didn’t even want to even venture a guess about.
In April of this year New York University tested a series of circulated bills and found over 3000 types of bacteria on them, including ones that cause “gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning, staph infections and genes responsible for antibiotic resistance… and acne.” Yes kids, money will give you zits. It’s also a widely known fact that drug residue, particularly cocaine, is found on a large number of bills, and with it the biological material from the hands and noses of the users.
I even saw an article about a store which felt the need to post a sign stating that they would not accept “boob or sock money.” Yes, people have been known to store money in their bras, socks, and even underwear. Have you ever considered the possibility that the $20 in your hand was recently in someone’s sweaty, smelly plumber’s crack? Now you have.
So you might want to think twice before getting cash back at the grocery store. Maybe you’ll wait and make bigger purchases so you don’t have to handle those ones anymore. Perhaps you’ll have a little more compassion for the convenience store clerk who has to handle that stuff all day. Stick with digital transactions. They’re quick, efficient, and a whole lot healthier than handling all that dirty paper.