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Headline Of The Week Weak

| Filed under: Headline of the WeekDrugs


"90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine"

Damn! Read the article accompanying this headline…after the jump.

90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine

n the course of its average 20 months in circulation, U.S. currency gets whisked into ATMs, clutched, touched and traded perhaps thousands of times at coffee shops, convenience stores and newsstands. And every touch to every bill brings specks of dirt, food, germs or even drug residue.

Research presented this weekend reinforced previous findings that 90 percent of paper money circulating in U.S. cities contains traces of cocaine.

"When I was a young kid, my mom told me the dirtiest thing in the world is money," said the researcher, Yuegang Zuo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. "Mom is always right."

Scientists say the amount of cocaine found on bills is not enough to cause health risks.

Money can be contaminated with cocaine during drug deals or if a user snorts with a bill. But not all bills are involved in drug use; they can get contaminated inside currency-counting machines at the bank.

"When the machine gets contaminated, it transfers the cocaine to the other bank notes," Zuo said. These bills have fewer remnants of cocaine. Some of the dollars in his experiment had .006 micrograms, which is several thousands of times smaller than a single grain of sand.

Zuo, who spoke about his research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society on Sunday, found that $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills were more likely to be positive for cocaine than $1 bills.

"Probably $1 is a little too less to purchase cocaine," Zuo said "I don't know exactly [why]. It's an educated guess."

For years, health agencies have advised people to wash their hands after touching cash for sanitary reasons. Disease-causing organisms such as staphylococcus aureus and pneumonia-causing bacteria have been detected in paper bills. According to a 2002 study published in the Southern Medical Journal, 94 percent of the tested bills had potentially disease-causing organisms.

Adam Negrusz, an associate professor of forensic sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he isn't worried about the cleanliness of money in terms of public health.

"I never think about this as a source of danger. We have more things which can be potentially harmful," said Negrusz, who was not involved in Zuo's study.

Cocaine binds to the green dye in money, he said.

In 1998, Negrusz published similar findings after comparing freshly printed dollar bills that were not released to the public and money collected from a suburb near Chicago, Illinois. In the study, 92.8 percent of the bills from the public had traces of cocaine, but the uncirculated bills tested negative.

Although the contaminated bills do not affect health, Negrusz said, they could cause in a false positive drug test if a person, such as a law enforcement officer or banker, handles contaminated currency repeatedly.

"Imagine a bank teller who's working with cash-counting machine in the basement of the bank," Negrusz said. "Many of those bills, over 90 percent, are contaminated with cocaine. There is cocaine dust around the machines. These bank tellers breathe in cocaine. Cocaine gets into system, and you can test positive for cocaine. … That's what's behind this whole thing that triggered testing money for drugs."

Zuo hopes to compile the data from his research to form a drug use map, saying it could provide insights about regional cocaine use.

In his study, the rate of drug-contaminated money varied geographically from urban to less populated areas. A hundred percent of the sample bills collected from major cities such as Miami, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan, tested positive for cocaine, but samples collected from smaller cities such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Niagara Falls, New York;and Dearborn, Michigan, had 87 to 67 percent.

Compared with currency from Brazil, Canada, China and Japan, U.S. bills had the highest percentage of cocaine, with 90 percent of 234 bank notes contaminated. Canada followed with 85 percent and Brazil with 80 percent. China and Japan had the lowest, with 20 and 12 percent respectively.

"Actually, we were surprised to find cocaine in Chinese bank note," Zuo said after analyzing 112 samples from China.

After the Communist Party took over, the country was relatively free of drugs from 1949 until the 1980s because of harsh punishments against substance use, he said. Two years ago, Zuo collaborated with Beijing scientists on testing bank notes and didn't find any contamination with cocaine.

"In the last year, 2008, we found trace amounts of cocaine," he said.

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66 comments to “Headline Of The Week Weak”

  1. 1


  2. 2

    yeah.. I've heard this a long time ago.. then they said it was 95%.. but 90% is still a lot

  3. 3


  4. 4

    Mario,stick to Celebtards and leave this wacky shit for the Huffington post

  5. 5

    cocaine is helluva drug.

  6. 6

    yeah welcome to 1983 dumb ass

  7. 7

    i wouldnt use a dollar cause strippers hold em near their dirty pussies. hundreds are best

  8. 8


  9. 9

    Dirty sexy money.

  10. 10

    Re: jumbie – Didn't Rick James say that?

  11. 11

    so what. it probably has traces of everything.

  12. 12

    i was told not to touch money because it could have been in a strippers ass crack.

  13. 13

    no shit.

  14. 14

    This isn't NEWS, it's been this way for a long time
    wake up!

  15. 15


  16. 16

    the reason $1 dollar bills don't have traces of coke is cause one dollar bills are usually to wrinkly to roll up into a nice tube to snort with. 50s and 100s are the best, cause they are usually nice and crisp and roll up into good snorting tubes. DUH.

  17. 17

    at least they're using a straw in the pic

  18. Zack says – reply to this


    That's not that shocking , just go into the bathrooms on a club on a Saturday night. Makes me wanna lick all my notes.

  19. 19

    Cocaine is a nasty drug.. I'd never try it.. But the green bud.. That's a good time.. Legalize Pot Canada!!

  20. 20


  21. 21

    That's intense.

  22. 22

    YESTERDAYS NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. 23


    Considering I am not even from the U.S.,,,,

  24. 24

    see, money really does make you happy LOL jk

  25. 25

    Re: BeautifulBrunnette69
    don't knock it till you try it

  26. 26

    Perez, nice picture you put up to accompany the article. Where did you get it? Oh I know, its probably off your camera. It's a pretty stupid picture considering you're about to snort a line with a straw (may i suggest cutting it to make it shorter) meanwhile the story is about using bills! Umm ok whatever floats your boat Perez!

  27. 27

    Why do the newspapers reren this story every five or six years?

  28. 28

    Okay Perez, you REALLY need to start reading and STOP spreading false information. Two things:

    ""When the machine gets contaminated, it transfers the cocaine to the other bank notes," Zuo said. These bills have fewer remnants of cocaine. Some of the dollars in his experiment had .006 micrograms, which is several thousands of times smaller than a single grain of sand."

    "Research presented this weekend reinforced previous findings that 90 percent of paper money circulating in U.S. cities contains traces of cocaine."

    ^^ So get your facts staright. 90% of U.S. bills do NOT have traces of cocaine. 90% of those tested in those select U.S. cities showed TRACES and, the ATM machine give a valid reason why… it can get onto other money as well. Gee Perez, you're an alarmist and you lie.

  29. 29

    Priceless xD

  30. 30

    Mr. Hilton, this is such OLD news…………..D.

  31. 31

    . It's a disgusting drug and anyone who supports the blood and ill gained profit surrounding it's distribution is a filthy douche.

  32. 32

    Makes sense. 10% of the population owns 90% of the wealth.

  33. 33

    That is one of the reasons why I don't carry cash!!

  34. 34

    I was wondering this the other day…

  35. 35


  36. 36

    while thats been a known fact for a while, i heard the government puts it on money so drug dogs can sniff out large amounts of money in drug busts.

  37. 37

    wow thats crazy….

  38. 38

    heard this report like a whole year ago.

  39. 39

    very…very ..old news perezcious…djeez..its almost embarrasing

  40. 40

    Thats funny! I'm so glad DARE worked and lasted!

    Check out The Knocks Remix of the song Cocaine by Julia on youtube. Its funny and plays right along with this theory. Where do ya go?

  41. 41

    Coke is an awesome drug if you know how to use it properly!

  42. 42

    in this economy, the amount of cocaine you find on money is the same amount that you can buy with that same bill.

  43. 43

    It appears they did not use a random sampling - seriously who came up with this - I bet u if they went and took a sampling of bills from several cities, stores etc then they could come up with that ridiculous number - not buying it!!!

  44. 44

    Old news, Perez:(

  45. 45

    O_O wow! that's very interesting. I've never even thought of that!

  46. 46

    hahaha i know why

  47. 47

    Being an ex-coke head, bills, no matter what kind always stunk to me, so I stuck w/ straws…drugs are stupid kids, don't do them.

  48. Jai says – reply to this


    This news has been around for a loooooooong time.

  49. 49

    This is why I'll be getting a debit card soon. Bills and coins are fucking nasty lol.

  50. 50

    this is like the oldest fact ever!

  51. 51

    I was told alternative lifestyle people like the 2 dollar bill cause it's different like them. There are probably traces of ass on them. Derelict of dialect, is this true?

  52. 52

    Re: tick_tock_tick_tock – see post 31

  53. 53

    Re: jumbieRe: Nostradamus – see post 31

  54. 54

    no, trust me it is not because $1 bills are not enough to buy cocaine. dealers will take change if that's all you have. you just dont snort coke with one dollar bills. you use a 100 bill or 20 if you're broke.

  55. 55

    Re: Sarah FAILin – HAHAHA THAT is the best point and relation i have heard all year.

  56. 56

    Wow! I guess there are much more drug users in the society than people think.

  57. 57

    Re: calihan12 – Now there's a concept! Funny that someone would be gullible enough to believe it. Yes, I am sure the government is putting drugs on our money. If you get lucky, you can find one with LSD instead of the powder! LMAO

  58. 58

    Well i'm going to start to keep my bills.

  59. 59

    This information is so old it's not even funny. My mom heard this news in the 1980's. SLOW NEWS DAY.

  60. 60

    and i just happen to be writing an essay on drug problems in the us compared to uk, thanks perez!

  61. 61

    That's what we knew 25 yrs ago as school kids - who cares? the traces are to less to cause any damages.

  62. 62

    Wow you're current as fuck, Perez, this statistic was first released in the mid 1980s.

  63. 63

    Ha ha…sad sad little United States…*pats on head*

  64. 64

    Re: jumbie – love the obscure chappelle reference! lol

  65. 65

    its the same in england aswell. they can sew it in when they make the money aswell.

  66. 66