Not Just Inflation: A Surprising New Risk Of The U.S. Dollar And Other Fiat Currencies

George Washington's picture


Precious metal fans claim that the paper money in your wallet or purse are continually shrinking in value. And see this, this and this.

But it may be making you fat.

Specifically, paper money contains bisphenol-A, more commonly known as BPA. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2008:

Twenty-one out of the 22 $1 bills tested in California, 17 other states and Washington, D.C., carried small amounts of the chemical….

The American Chemical Society noted last year:

The cash register receipts that people place near paper money in billfolds, purses, and pockets has led to a worldwide contamination of paper money with bisphenol A (BPA) ….


Although a recent study found traces of BPA in U.S. currency, nobody knew until now about BPA in paper money worldwide. The scientists’ analysis of 156 pieces of paper money from 21 countries found that all contained traces of BPA.


The highest BPA levels were in paper money from Brazil, the Czech Republic and Australia, while the lowest occurred in paper money from the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Levels in U.S. notes were about average.

Exposure to BPA substantially increases the chances of obesity. See this and this.

In addition, BPA has linked to diabetes, cancer, metabolic and neurological diseases and reproductive problems.

Many manufacturers have substituted a new chemical – BPS – for BPA. And now BPS is being distributed through paper money.

As Health Day News reported in July (via Yahoo News):

Many people are absorbing high levels of bisphenol S — a substitute for the chemical compound bisphenol A — when they handle cash register receipts and other types of paper, researchers say.




Concerns about the health effects of BPA have led some manufacturers to replace it with bisphenol S (BPS), which is closely related to BPA and has some of the same estrogen-mimicking effects, the authors explained in the study published in a recent issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.




For the study, the investigators analyzed 16 types of thermal cash-register paper, recycled paper and paper currency from the United States, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. They detected BPS on all the receipt paper, 87 percent of the paper currency and 52 percent of the recycled paper.

Science Daily notes:

[A new] report … in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.




BPS is closely related to BPA, with some of the same estrogen-mimicking effects, and unanswered questions exist about whether it is safer.




They analyzed 16 types of paper from the U.S., Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The study detected BPS in all the receipt paper they tested, 87 percent of the samples of paper currency ….

The researchers estimate that people may be absorbing BPS through their skin in larger doses than they absorbed BPA when it was more widely used — 19 times more BPS than BPA.

In fact, many claim that BPS is even more dangerous than BPA.

And that isn't all ... a study published in the Southern Medical Journal, researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio found that 94 percent of the dollar bills tested were contaminated with bacteria.  Much of it was benign, but 7 percent harbored dangerous pathogens, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause infections such as pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin and other infections. Other experiments found the fecal bacteria E. Coli.

So when goldbugs tell you that fiat money is crap ... they may be onto something.

Postscript: While this post is over-the-top, the serious take-home message is that you should wash your hands after handling paper money and especially paper receipts.

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Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:54 | 2831045 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Barbarous paper fiat.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:38 | 2831036 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I think it's closely realated to Benthiefall-FED

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:46 | 2828654 OhOh
OhOh's picture

Excellent mind altering drug delivery system.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:40 | 2831038 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

They already have that, it's called TV.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:26 | 2828571 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

wash your hands after handling change also.

look at the checkout people at walmart wearing gloves.

eventually they will be wearing facemasks like everyone in China during SARS

Now this would be an advantage of silver coins - anti-bacterial jingle in your pocket.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:45 | 2828648 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I asked a checker @ Target why the gloves? Fish allergy that could kill her. 

With many recycling paper, BPA is also in ur toilet paper in large amounts. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:23 | 2828563 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

So, Dumb, Fat and Stupid is a way to go through life.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:39 | 2831037 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Yep and if you tell Amurikans to get in shape, they'll reply.  "Round is a shape, isn't it?"

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:14 | 2828519 DOT
DOT's picture

Back in the eighties all the c-notes were contaminated with cocaine.

Ah, the good old days...

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:08 | 2828493 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

Where's GW? What did you do with GW? How much did you get paid to write this crap? Wash your hands. DUH.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:02 | 2828456 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Corporations conduct arbitrage on all facets of human life. In a closed system, a proliferation of corporations will have a predictable result on a finite human biological capacity.

The trend is currently accelerating so get used to it.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:48 | 2828390 akak
akak's picture

I'm more worried about bisphenol-QE.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:42 | 2828359 Intoxicologist
Intoxicologist's picture

I always tell a cashier to toss my receipt.  I mean, who returns beer?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:58 | 2828434 akak
akak's picture


I mean, who returns beer?

Judging from the lines outside the mens' restrooms at any sporting event, just about everyone.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:58 | 2828433 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



You return it after your liver et al refines it. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:02 | 2828457 Intoxicologist
Intoxicologist's picture

You didn't buy that.  (You just rented it for awhile.)

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:41 | 2828351 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Damn, this is great news.

All I need to do is rub my goods with dollars to keep my balls from hitting that cold water in the toilet.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:38 | 2828331 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

It's in the lining of cans.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:39 | 2828324 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Send all your worthless, chemical and bacteria tainted fiat currency to me, and I will dispose of it properly.


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:25 | 2828273 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Looks like some people are already using dollar bills as toilet paper and snot rags. Fitting.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:59 | 2828440 Intoxicologist
Intoxicologist's picture

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "filthy lucre."

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 11:40 | 2828074 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

We shouldn't demonize cash because the solution the government will offer is a cashless society, not the PM society that we crave.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 13:11 | 2828499 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Barter.. then problem solved.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 12:49 | 2828387 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Can we go back to all coin please, even if it's tungsten?

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