Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature Network
How germy are dollar bills? Pretty germy, actually.
A study published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2002 analyzed 68 dollar bills collected from people in Ohio. Of those 68 dollar bills, 94 percent of them harbored bacteria, and although much of it was benign, a small percentage carried bacteria that could cause infections like pneumonia. Of the 68 bills tested, 59 of them harbored bacteria that would be harmless to healthy people, but could cause serious infections in people with already compromised immune systems.
But you should also know that the chances of getting sick from one of these bacteria-laced dollar bills is slim, and that's because your skin is a pretty good protector against germs. As long as you don't stick the dollar bill in your mouth and chew it up, you should be OK. But if you're touching particularly dirty dollar bills, it might be a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water afterward.