Chinese Currency is the World's Dirtiest, Say Chinese Officials

March 20, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: March 20, 2007 12:00 am

According to a report in the Guangzhou Daily , during a meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on March 14, a deputy from Guangdong Province said that China's currency is becoming too dirty while in circulation.

This problem was echoed by other deputies. One deputy said that because the weather in Guangzhou City is more humid, the situation is more severe than that in Beijing. The currency might spread large quantities of bacteria in Guangzhou.

Another deputy, Peng Linji, also quoted more data which revealed that in the world's most populated country, each piece of paper money contains as many as 180,000 bacteria, which undoubtedly makes it the dirtiest paper money in the world. The data also pointed out that a university in Turkey published the results of an investigation on cashiers, revealing that the rate of hepatitis infection among cashiers was six times higher than that of other groups of people.

Deputy Peng Linji suggested setting up currency disinfection systems to reduce cross infection and the spreading of bacteria from contact currency, thus reducing the possibility of people becoming infected by the bacteria from currency in circulation.

Previous Studies

There were also previous media reports that revealed an experiment conducted by the Hong Kong City College Bacteria Research Center that among the six Asian countries—Hong Kong, China, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, the Philippines and Korea. The Chinese RMB currency contains the greatest amount of bacteria. There were was as many as 178,000 bacteria cells on the Chinese RMB which is 160,000 more than the currency used in Hong Kong and Cambodia in second place.

It was reported that related departments in China collected nearly 5000 RMB bills from Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Dalian. It was discovered that there were more than 10 strains of bacteria such as colon bacilli, hepatitis B virus (HBV), streptococcus, mold, salmonella, etc. on the currency samples.

Some doctors claimed that colon bacili comes from excrement. If people do not wash their hands after going to the toilet would transfer the bacteria if handling currency.