Teenagers were given another reason over the weekend to use plastic instead of cash.
Another study about just how dirty paper money can be was published in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday.
Citing researchers at New York University Dirty Money Project, the story says bacteria that causes acne is found on paper money.
But that’s not the worst of it.
Those of us long past acne age can be concerned about 3,000 types of bacteria that were identified on notes through DNA analysis.
But since this study simply confirms what we have long thought to be true, it probably will do little to affect our behavior. Most of us have already lived our lives as if money is dirty even if we were not acquainted with the specifics.
When I had a paper route, Mom always told me to wash my hands after I did my Saturday morning collecting rounds.
I didn’t need much nudging. Having been dedicated to searching through coin rolls whenever I could, I was long familiar with that special feel of coin grime on my hands.
What’s a little paper money grime added to that?
Hopefully it all comes off in soap and water.
But there was another interesting tidbit in the story.
Polymer (plastic) notes used in Australia an Canada and other places apparently are cleaner than paper money, or in the case of the United States, the linen-cotton blend money that we carry around in our wallets.
Will this information be used to justify changing American notes to polymer?
Someone will probably try to make the case, but it probably won’t get far unless they can prove that the bacteria on notes actually causes illness with a provable cause-and-effect sequence.
That’s a tall order.
But if you see banks and credit unions telling teenagers that using their credit and debit cards will improve their complexions, that will pick up the pace of change taking cash to its doom.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”