Credit Cards Are Not Clean

I recently commented that my driver’s license looks like it has been used to clean the toilet. It turns out that statement may not be too far from the truth.

A study on Dirty Money  from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently reported that one in ten bank cards was contaminated with fecal bacteria, and 8 % were grossly contaminated at levels you would expect to find in a dirty toilet bowl.

What does this all mean?

The average credit-card carrying American has 3.5 cards plus an insurance card, drivers license, and ATM card. Consequently, there is a 50% chance that that person is carrying their own private source of disease. Add money (1 in 7 bank notes is contaminated) and a few more cards, and the odds increase significantly.

I’m going to spray my wallet with Lysol when I get home tonight. I may wash my hands, as well.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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