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Yuck! Credit card contamination

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

Handling your credit card is about as sanitary as dipping your fingers in a dirty toilet bowl, according to new study from the Brits.

Researchers at the University of London found that 1 in 10 credit and debit cards contained fecal bacteria. Eight percent of cards showed "gross contamination," meaning they carried as much bacteria as you'd find in an unscrubbed potty, the study found. Green, hard cash didn't fare much better. One in 7 carried poopy material, while 6 percent showed gross contamination.

All this made for dirtier hands. More than a quarter of hands had fecal matter, including the bacteria E. coli, and 11 percent of hands were as icky as an unwashed commode, the study showed.

Researchers said the results highlighted the need to wash your hands, especially after visiting the john. It could be prudent to wipe down your debit and credit cards every now and again, too, with a sanitizing wipe.

The study had 272 participants, which offered up their hands, cards and money for testing.

Do you wipe your credit cards? Will you now?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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10 Comments
Karen
October 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

TMI! I think the preoccupation with germs today is a bit too much. I grew up in the 1950's and have survived without sanitary wipes all my life. I wash my hands after using the toilet and before handling or eating food. I think that is good enough! I figure a few germs are good for my immune system. They keep it active and functioning!

Nancy
October 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm

In public places I never touch any door knobs. I always wash my hands then use paper towels to open doors, then toss towels when outside of the contaminated areas. Anything at all that another person has touched goes into my pocket. I immediately use hand sanitizer after handling anything another person gives me. At home it all gets wiped down with cleaning wipes before ever going into my wallet. You never know where another person's hands have been or haven't been. No one seems to care about cleanliness anymore. You see that all around you as you walk through stores and malls. It's disgusting!

Lesley
October 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I think one of the reasons we came to America was to get away from the unsanitary conditions in England And Europe.
I'm so sorry to hear they haven't corrected those problems yet.
Has your doctor told you to through away those nasty credit/debit
cards?

Annette
October 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I don't wash my hands. I love germs. Bring it on....I never get sick. I have immunity to almost everything....except sinus infection lol

Lisa M
October 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I think a big part of the problem is that no matter how often or how well we wash our hands in a public place, we usually have to then put our hands on a bacteria-covered door handle to get out of the bathroom so our hands are probably already re-infested with bacteria before we even get out of the bathroom. And of course, then it is transferred to everything we touch, including money, cards and everything else we touch throughout the day.

vicky poteat
October 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

wow I wipe every thing in site never thought of my atm card just wiped it and will continue to after each use. thanx for the info.

Beth
October 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

My gosh, how does poop end up on one in every seven pieces of paper cash? I wonder if the numbers are lower on one hundred dollar bills? I don't handle them much myself. I am going to share this article with my Tuesday study group at Financial Peace University. It's another good reason to rid yourself of some of those nasty credit cards!

Stephanie
October 19, 2012 at 2:55 am

Yuck! I never even thought bought that, and I keep wipes around for door knobs, my car stearing wheel, you name it, but I never thought about credit cards..ugh..I will now. Thanks Janna : )

Your Panties Inna Wad
October 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Aw, GeezUs! That is nasty. Yuck, Puke.
Tambien, VIVA, VIVA TEXAS!