Money taken out of circulation for having too many germs - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Money taken out of circulation for having too many germs

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Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- Dollar bills only make it about a year and a half in our wallets before they are taken out of circulation for being too contaminated with germs.

It's the kind of place where the green flows.

"We handle mostly cash, less credit and debit cards here so we're always touching some kind of money," Ebaristo Torres, manager at D&N Grocery, said.

Torres is conscious how easy it is for germs to spread from cash, to him. 

"It's second nature when you get money, you can count the money. Then you're trying to get a bag and put your hands in your mouth. It's basically like putting the money in your mouth," Torres said.

He keeps the hand sanitizer close by, among other safe practices.

"Most of us are used to washing our hands every 15 minutes," Torres said.

Bills do have the potential to spread illness. "We don't really think about our environment being contaminated with bacteria because we can't see them. You have to think about how many people handled that dollar bill before you did," Richard Wallace, M.D., UT Health Northeast Infection Disease Expert, said.

Dr. Wallace says out of all organisms to travel from skin contact--"Staph is the most common bacteria you are likely to encounter that is responsible for disease," he said.

Various types of Staph can cause infections, particularly when the skin is broken due to cuts or scrapes.

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