In the Loop

Our curency may be sinking, but it's "higher" than any other money in the world.

Posted at 11:30 AM on August 5, 2008 by Sanden Totten

Sure, the dollar may be losing ground to the Euro, the Pound and other currencies. But a recent study found that the buck is still number one in at least one ranking. U.S. money has higher levels of cocaine residue than any other currency. Yeah, America!

"These findings should not be surprising, because cocaine and other drugs are traded using cash, which is handled by the same fingers that directly touch the drugs or wrappings," chemists Sergio Armenta and Miguel de la Guardia from the University of Valencia in Spain write. "Moreover, many cocaine users use a wrapped banknote to sniff this drug, so inducing direct cocaine contamination of the banknotes."

Cocaine is also a very fine powder, so counting machines and even cash drawers give the substance a chance to spread quickly to other money. And it's not just white lines sticking to our bills. Ritalin and procaine were also leaving their marks.

No reason to panic though. Unless you handle large amounts of money, like say at a casino or bank, there is little threat of the drug being detectable in your system. But it gets me wondering about the notion of being addicted to money. Some people say that you can actually smell the chemicals and impurities used to cut coke on some dollar bills. And recent research has confirmed the notion that smells, even faint ones, have a big sway on the emotions and memories of our brains. Makes you wonder if flashing large sums of money could be considered a gateway drug?

August 2008
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