Money Handling


Handling money can be a dirty job – and now studies have shown just how dirty it is. Research findings report that:

  • bank notes and coins can carry and transmit Human Pathogens, Opportunistic Pathogens, Viruses and Fungi/Fungal Infections.
  • money from over 35 countries*, including US, UK, Australia and China, has been found to harbour human pathogens capable of causing potentially deadly diseases.
  • the "dirtiest" currencies were found to harbour from tens of thousands to tens of millions of bacteria and fungi on a single bank note.
  • money and credit cards carry more germs than the average toilet seat.

In financial institutions, casinos, supermarkets and retail businesses, workers who handle money are exposed to numerous disease causing germs just by performing their duties. Germs causing disease can live on various hard surfaces for a period of from 1 day up to sometimes many months; with hands responsible for the spread of an estimated 80% of infectious diseases.

Maintaining hand-hygiene and health can be challenging for employees and is often due to:

  • lack of availability and proximity of hand-hygiene products;
  • time constraints;
  • dry, chapped or irritated skin;
  • assumptions that hands, not being visibly dirty, are not in need of cleaning.

Constant exposure to these infectious diseases together with poor hand-hygiene, can contribute to:

  • absenteeism from work due to poor health;
  • reduced efficiency and mistakes at work due to employees being ill;
  • "presenteeism" - where infected employees, being at work, infect others.

Poor hand-hygiene affects more than only those who work with or handle money. Those who work in the same environment or share the same facilities are equally at risk to infection if hand-hygiene is not maintained.

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The Orbel™ Instant Hand Sanitizer Applicator

The Orbel™ is a portable hand sanitizer reservoir and applicator that conveniently dispenses highly effective hand sanitizer by way of a swipe of a hand. Its portability and ease of use makes it a convenient and accessible solution that enables employees to maintain good hand-hygiene, irrespective of activity type, whilst preventing loss in productivity.

The Orbel™ is available with a highly effective hand sanitizer (ethyl-alcohol or water-based formulations) that can kill and neutralize almost all the threats delivered by contaminated money. When money is contaminated with serious microbial threats, infectious seasonal respiratory, gastrointestinal viruses or the fallout of an influenza pandemic, the always present and easy-to-use Orbel™ applicator is just a hand motion away from maintaining health and wellbeing.

Use of the Orbel™ applicator:

  • can contribute to an increase in work performance and productivity;
  • can contribute to the reduction and cost of absenteeism due to illness. Reports estimate that absenteeism costs the US economy alone some $227 billion a year due to lost productivity associated with poor health;
  • demonstrates commitment to employee health and wellbeing and forming the cornerstone of any workplace wellness program;
  • complements existing hand-hygiene protocols;
  • habituates good hand-hygiene practice;
  • reduces costs associated with illness to employees;
  • significantly improves employer health and safety compliance regimes;
  • increases customer perceptions of venue cleanliness;
  • is cost effective when measured by ROI.

In addition to the benefits the Orbel™ brings to employees, it is also a visible demonstration to customers and the wider community on a general policy commitment to hygiene. 

contact-us-buttonto increase hand-hygiene efficiently, reduce infections and save money with the Orbel™ Instant Hand Sanitizer Applicator.
No workplace can afford to be without it.

For further reading, consult the References section.

For related hand-hygiene meetings and events, consult our Calendar of Events section.

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Specific information on Money and Human Disease

According to the CDC over 200 different diseases are known to be transmitted by hands and objects they touch such as money. Listed below are the collection of Bacterial and Parasitic Diseases commonly identified on coin and paper currency.

Human Bacterial and Parasitic Pathogens found infectious on Money

Human Bacterial PathogensDisease or Infection Caused
 Entero-toxic Eschericha coli (ETEC) Traveller's Diarrhoea 
 Mycobacterium tuberculosis Tuberculosis 
 Pasteurella multocida Pasteurellosis 
Salmonella spp. Salmonellosis
Salmonella typhi Typhoid fever
Shigella dysenteriae; Shigellosis & Dysentery
Shigella flexneri Shigellosis
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Drug resistant Skin Infections
Streptococcus spp. Miscellaneous Diseases
Streptococcus viridans group (VDS) Endocarditis & Dental Caries
Vibrio spp. Gastrointestinal Infections
Vibrio cholera Cholera
Yersinia enterocolitica Yersiniosis & Abscesses
Yersinia pseudo tuberculosis Yersiniosis & Abscesses


Human Enteric ParasitesDisease or Infection Caused
Ascaris lumbricoides Ascariasis & Eosinophilia
Enterobius vermicularis Enterobiasis - Pinworm
Trichuris trichiura Trichuriasis - Whipworm
Taenia spp. Taeniasis - Tapeworm
Entamoeba histolytica Amebiasis - Dysentery
Microsporidia spp. Microsporidia Infection
Cryptosporidium spp. Cryptosporidiosis

Money & Human Disease: Opportunistic Bacterial Pathogens

The following Opportunistic Bacterial Pathogens prey on the very old, the very young, sick, infirm or those confined to healthcare facilities. They cause a wide range of infections in immune-compromised hosts such as people with cystic fibrosis, burn patients and those undergoing cancer chemotherapy, ranging from bacterial pneumonias, meningitis, endocarditis, toxic shock, septicemia, abscesses and wound Infections. These are not the kind of bacteria that you want to bring home!

Opportunistic PathogensOpportunistic Pathogens
Acinetobacter baumannii Klebsiella pneumoniae
Acinetobacter iwoffii Klebsiella ozaenae
Burkholderia cepacia Microbacterium spp.
Bacillus circulans Micrococcus luteus
Bacillus cereus Proteus mirabilis
Bacillus subtilis Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Citrobacter freundi Pseudomonas stzutzeri
Curtobacterium spp. Pseudomonas putida
Enterobacter agglomerans Staphylococcus epidermidis
Enterobacter cloacae Staphylococcus hominis
Enterococcus faecalis Staphylococcus schleiferi
Klebsiella freundii Staphylococcus warneri

Money & Human Disease: Viral and Fungal Contamination of Money

Virus Transmission by Contaminated Money

Viruses are difficult to isolate and identify and for this reason there is not a good catalogue of viral diseases transmitted by contaminated money. Scientific investigators have identified a number of viruses that they believe are capable of being transmitted by money and they include: Rhinovirus (common cold), Influenza virus, Norovirus (winter vomiting disease), SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), and Hepatitis C.

Infectious Fungi and Mold Species found on Money

Listed below are the collection of Fungal Pathogens and fungi associated with human exposures causing a vast array of conditions such as "sick building syndrome", allergic reactions and respiratory distress.

Yeast InfectionsYeast Infections
Candida albicans Candida tropicalis
Candida Kruseii Candida violaceum


Mold FungiMold Fungi
Alternaria tenuis Geotrichum candidum
Aspergillus spp. Mucor spp.
Aspergillus niger Penicillum spp.
Aspergillus flavus Penicillium citrinum
Aspergillus nidulans Rizopus spp.
Curvularia pallescens Rhizopus stolonifer
Cladosporium cladosporioides Trichoderma viride
Fusarium spp.