Aug 17, 2009

I feel dirty :o)

I found this article, reproduced from, interesting, makes me want to wash my hands anytime I touch money in the future.

Although the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that only about 12% of U.S. citizens have ever tried the drug, virtually 100% of those of us old enough to handle paper money have touched the stuff. A new study found that up to 90% of the paper money in the U.S. contains minute amounts of cocaine.

The study, funded in part by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, found that bills circulating in the nation's capital, Washington D.C., contained the dope 95% of the time. Apparently, there a cocaine-free twenty is even rarer than a pork-free spending bill. The lowest levels were found in Salt Lake City, Utah. Overall, the percent of U.S. paper money showing traces of cocaine has risen by almost 20% in just the last two years.

The scientists tested currency from four other countries as well. Our Canadian neighbors are about as likely to contaminate their currency, while in China and Japan less than one in five bills are toot-infused. The authors of the study conjecture (and we hope this is true) that much of the blame can be put on currency-counting machines, which can spread coke as fast as grade-schoolers pass along the flu. One of the study's authors was quoted by Science Daily as saying "You can't get high by sniffing a regular banknote.." so you users can put your wallet away. Me, I'd rather avoid coke and the swine flu, so I might just start carrying more Sacagaweas and fewer Washingtons.


  1. I just saw this somewhere today. It's kind of pathetic, isn't it?

  2. this isn't new- news shows have made this public years ago- Filthy Lucre-

  3. Hi Ken,
    Don't worry, I'm sure the colonies of germs of each bill are snorting up a storm. Purell, anyone?

  4. I'd love to see more details of this so-called "study." With the little information supplied in the linked-to article, I am questioning the methodology used. The sample size was awfully small. They looked at only 234 notes. In the Canadian side of the study, they examined only 27 twenty dollar bills. Considering there are estimated to be over 18 billion bills in circulation in the United States, this study examined fewer than .0000013% of them. Hardly a representative sample.

    I'd also be interested in knowing how careful they were to isolate the different bills from each other during the examination. If the cocaine transfer from bill to bill is as easy as they say, is it possible they picked up a few contaminated bills, which then contaminated others already in thier possession?

  5. Actually, this doesn't surprise me. When my wife went to work for a bank a few years ago, she learned much the same. Certainly surprising. Paper money really is some nasty stuff. haha But I like it that way!

  6. It makes a cashless system even more appealing.


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