Sunday 25 October 2009


Here are two articles on money and germs. As winter approaches, and with all the germs and warnings about flus, etc etc ad nauseum, perhaps reading the following will remind you that your mother was right, as ever, when she would tell you to wash your hands after touching money.

The first, Filthy Lucre, is from Curt Maynard: the second, It's Official: All Money is Dirty, is from Kenya. Germs speak the same language no matter what country they are in!

October 25, 2009
by Curt Maynard

According to an October 1998 Discover magazine article entitled “Filthy Lucre,” the FBI was fully aware of the fact that counting/sorting machines were capable of cross-contaminating items made of paper. [1]

The entire article was devoted to the scientific study of money including a historical, and anthropological view. Of course the article focused on the cross-contamination of currency at the federal reserve’s counting/sorting machines, but even a fool should be able to understand that there can’t be a tremendous difference between those machines and the ones at the post office that do pretty much the same thing.

Apparently the Japanese are light years ahead of our FBI, according to this article anyway, they have been well aware of the fact that currency is an effective vector for bacteria, as evidenced by the fact that Japanese citizens can go to what is referred to in Japan as a “clean ATM”, and have their currency, the Yen, pressed for 1/10th of a second at 392 degrees in order to sterilize them. [2]

Hitachi manufactures this clean ATM, and according to the article, it is quite popular and has been for many years in Japan.In 1997, [Four years before 9-11] Tom Jourdan, chief of the Materials and Devices unit at the FBI lab in Washington D.C. found that ninety percent of the dollar bills his unit tested came back positive for the presence of cocaine hydrochloride. Jourdan stated that it was his belief that, “mechanical currency counters are homogenizing money… one contaminated bill brushed through the counting machine at the bank can contaminate the entire stack.” [3]

In other words the FBI conducted a study that revealed that mechanical counters were cross-contaminating money, and they knew back in 1997 that one contaminated dollar bill could contaminate an entire stack of bills. How hard is it to infer that the same would prove true with envelopes at the United States Post Office? The answer of course is that it wouldn’t be difficult at all ~ the same mechanics are at work with the mechanical counters/sorters and the vector, paper, is essentially the same.

Admittedly currency is a better vector with its cotton/linen composition, but at the microscopic level, standard envelope paper is very porous and can carry anthrax spores quite efficiently as evidenced by the fact that several Americans died as a result of inhaling spores that had become impregnated into envelopes at the Post Office. [4]

The FBI will never critique this article, but if they were to try, they’d probably lie and suggest that cocaine hydrochloride particulate is smaller than anthrax spores and for this reason they didn’t think that anthrax would so efficiently cross-contaminate envelopes at the Post Office. The fact is, weaponized anthrax spores, like those mailed to Senator Tom Daschle are generally between 1/25,000th and 10/25,000th of an inch in diameter.

Photographic microscopy in the article, “Filthy Lucre,” clearly revealed that the cocaine particulate photographed within the weave of the cotton/linen dollar was some seven times larger than 10/25,000th of an inch in diameter, yet couldn’t be seen without the use of a microscope. The fact is; the FBI knew in 1997 that anthrax and other bacterial agents could not only contaminate money and remain viable on its surface for some time, but that it could also “cross-contaminate” other bills.

There is no doubt whatsoever that they knew the same would prove true at the Post Office, but like everything else around us today, the FBI lied about it and attempted to fool the American public.

If the FBI were truly interested in finding and apprehending the “Anthrax Killer,” they’d be investigating Philip Zack, who once worked at Fort Detrick Maryland and was caught red handed diverting anthrax spores several years prior to 9-11 and later writing an anonymous letter attempting to implicate or frame a scientist by the name of Dr. Ayaad Assaad. [5]

Instead the FBI focused its investigation on one Steven J. Hatfill and employed the media to conduct an orchestrated smear campaign on Hatfill’s character in order to convict him in the court of public opinion. [6]

When their smear campaign fell apart for lack of evidence, the FBI then dropped its investigation and the media has subsequently remained silent, with nary a word about anyone else possibly being connected to the case, despite the overwhelming evidence implicating Philip Zack.

Below are some other interesting facts associated with pathogens and currency/paper:

Discover magazine documented a study that was conducted on two $20 bills, one $1 bill, and a quarter. All were wiped across a Petrie dish containing an agar base, and all produced positive results within 24 hours. The following types of bacteria were identified in the Discover magazine study. Staphylococci, micrococci, diptheroids, and propriobacteria. [7]

The article Filthy Lucre then cited a study conducted in 1972 by the Journal of the American Medical Association [8].

This study cultured two hundred dollar bills and coins and found Staphylococcus Aureus, a pathogenic bacteria on 13% of coins, and 42% of bills tested.

In 1997, another study was conducted by another journal, Infections in Medicine. This study concluded that 3% of all coins, and 11% of all the bills they tested were positive for bacteria.

In 1998, a study conducted by the University of California at San Francisco revealed that out of a hundred and thirteen examples of “real life,” cash they cultured, most of the bills grew “harmless bacteria” but 18% of coins, and 7% of bills manifested pathogenic bacteria, including E-Coli, and Staph Aureus. Shirley Lowe, a microbiologist credited with conducting the study on behalf of the University stated that “half the money,” she obtained from a doughnut shop grew Staphylococcus Aureus. Lowe stated, “Anything that can get on hands can get on money.”

The article Filthy Lucre also revealed that a study conducted at the Houston Advanced Research Center in Texas found that 70-80% of all currency had trace amounts of cocaine hydrochloride on them. In older bills that had been in circulation for some time, 90% manifested trace amounts of cocaine. [9]

The Journal of Forensic Sciences conducted a study in May 1998 that concluded that more than 93% of all bills tested had trace amounts of cocaine hydrochloride present.

What does all this mean? What it means to this writer is that the FBI’s claim of ignorance was a complete lie and that their focus on the innocent Steven J. Hatfill suggests a willful attempt to ignore the far more compromised Philip Zack, who should be under investigation at this very moment for several murders and engaging in terrorism against his own nation, thus committing treason during a time of war.

Curt Maynard works for himself and resides in Louisiana with his wife and three children. He can be reached at:


[1] Discover magazine, October. 1998. p. 78.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid. p. 84.

[4] The FBI reported that the anthrax in the letter mailed to Senator Tom Daschle was between 1 and 10/25,000th of an inch in diameter.

[5] This frame job fell completely apart, but details of the case can be read in an otherwise worthless book entitled Amerithrax by Robert Graysmith, a book that carefully excluded [intentionally?] any and all mention of Philip Zack.

[6] The FBI attempted to do the same thing to Richard Jewell, by ignoring evidence that would have exonerated him in the Olympic Park bombing. Fortunately for Jewell, he was able to prove his innocence and prove that the FBI attempted to frame him.

[7] Discover magazine, October. 1998. p. 78.

[8] Month, unspecified.

[9] Discover magazine, October. 1998. p. 82.

July 23, 2009
Sunday Nation

Science has now proved that money is indeed the root of many ills.

Researchers from the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Medical Research Institute collected coins circulating in Nairobi, Kenya analysed them in the laboratory and are now warning the public that these are covered with disease causing agents.

‘‘With cholera, typhoid and swine flu hanging over the city, we urge people to handle money with care because it is evident that both paper currency and coins are highly contaminated with disease causing organisms,” says the study published in the current issue of the East African Medical Journal.

They single out coins collected from food handlers, with butchers topping the lists followed closely by roadside maize roasters and food kiosks. Some of their coins were found to be contaminated with faecal organisms.

The fact that there was heavy contamination with agents from human faeces, the researchers say, is an indication that people are either not using toilet paper, are using it improperly or the tissue does not stop the transmission of disease causing organisms to the hands.

The researchers call on the public to wash their hands constantly and discourage children from playing with coins especially when it comes to popping them in their mouths as this could be a very quick route to infection.

Death by Money?

One of the parasites found on the coins was the cryptosporidium that causes serious diarrhoea in children. Coins collected from matatu touts ranked very highly in the amount of disease causing organisms they carry, topping in the amount of moulds on them and only second to butchers in levels of bacteria exhibited.

The team did not, however, collect coins tithed in churches to determine how clean they were, but say they are no better considering that some of the germs found on the monies such as E. coli and Salmonella enteritis can survive for 11 and nine days respectively.

E. coli can cause serious food poisoning, while Salmonella enteritis, mostly associated with eggs, can cause serious abdominal illness that could even result in admission to hospital. The study isolated 16 organisms on the coins with the capacity to cause mild to serious disease.

Organisms like E. coli were found to be untreatable with most of the available antibiotics.

But Mr Bernard Andere, who roasts mutura (a kind of sausage made from tripe) at Kangemi, says this is just a plot to give money a bad name.

“There is no better sound than that of money, clean or not; give it to me any time and I will gladly take it,” says Mr Andere offering a piece of mutura to a customer with one hand and her change in the other.

A shoe cleaner on Latema road in the city, says he prefers the wet season when customers not willing to go to offices with muddy shoes flock his stand.

“I have never seen anyone refuse to take change just because my hands have gone over his sewage covered shoes,” he said on Thursday.

Some types of parasites found on the coins, especially from butchers, are known to cause serious zonootics, disease that can be transmitted from animals to human.

Serious pathogens such as Acinetobacter baumanii, known to cause pneumonia, skin and wound infections and also meningitis were also isolated from the coins.

Also found was a parasite, Aspergillus niger which can cause serious lung disease and internal ear infection.

A nasty parasite ~ Aspergillus niger

Unfortunately, just as it is with other disease causing parasites that walk along poverty lines, the circulation of low denomination coins is higher among this group compared to richer communities especially those able to deal in plastic money.

Earlier studies done on paper money have shown them to carry a higher percentage of potentially dangerous pathogens than coins and especially those from butchers and fishmongers.

Editorialising the study in the same journal, the director of the Centre for Microbiology Research at Kemri, Dr C. Wamae, said this corroborates what public health educators have always suspected.

“The potential contamination, through multiple handling and rapid exchange of money gives a new dimension to the importance of basic hand wash hygiene,” he wrote.

The message is old. Here we have it on a 1941 WW2 poster.

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