90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-18-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine

This is probably Zoots' fault.

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In the course of its average 20 months in circulation, U.S. currency gets whisked into ATMs, clutched, touched and traded perhaps thousands of times at coffee shops, convenience stores and newsstands. And every touch to every bill brings specks of dirt, food, germs or even drug residue.

Research presented this weekend reinforced previous findings that 90 percent of paper money circulating in U.S. cities contains traces of cocaine.

"When I was a young kid, my mom told me the dirtiest thing in the world is money," said the researcher, Yuegang Zuo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. "Mom is always right."

Scientists say the amount of cocaine found on bills is not enough to cause health risks.

Money can be contaminated with cocaine during drug deals or if a user snorts with a bill. But not all bills are involved in drug use; they can get contaminated inside currency-counting machines at the bank.

"When the machine gets contaminated, it transfers the cocaine to the other bank notes," Zuo said. These bills have fewer remnants of cocaine. Some of the dollars in his experiment had .006 micrograms, which is several thousands of times smaller than a single grain of sand.

Zuo, who spoke about his research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society on Sunday, found that $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills were more likely to be positive for cocaine than $1 bills.

"Probably $1 is a little too less to purchase cocaine," Zuo said "I don't know exactly [why]. It's an educated guess."

For years, health agencies have advised people to wash their hands after touching cash for sanitary reasons. Disease-causing organisms such as staphylococcus aureus and pneumonia-causing bacteria have been detected in paper bills. According to a 2002 study published in the Southern Medical Journal, 94 percent of the tested bills had potentially disease-causing organisms.

Adam Negrusz, an associate professor of forensic sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he isn't worried about the cleanliness of money in terms of public health.

"I never think about this as a source of danger. We have more things which can be potentially harmful," said Negrusz, who was not involved in Zuo's study.

Cocaine binds to the green dye in money, he said.

In 1998, Negrusz published similar findings after comparing freshly printed dollar bills that were not released to the public and money collected from a suburb near Chicago, Illinois. In the study, 92.8 percent of the bills from the public had traces of cocaine, but the uncirculated bills tested negative.

Although the contaminated bills do not affect health, Negrusz said, they could cause in a false positive drug test if a person, such as a law enforcement officer or banker, handles contaminated currency repeatedly.

"Imagine a bank teller who's working with cash-counting machine in the basement of the bank," Negrusz said. "Many of those bills, over 90 percent, are contaminated with cocaine. There is cocaine dust around the machines. These bank tellers breathe in cocaine. Cocaine gets into system, and you can test positive for cocaine. ... That's what's behind this whole thing that triggered testing money for drugs."

Zuo hopes to compile the data from his research to form a drug use map, saying it could provide insights about regional cocaine use.

In his study, the rate of drug-contaminated money varied geographically from urban to less populated areas. A hundred percent of the sample bills collected from major cities such as Miami, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan, tested positive for cocaine, but samples collected from smaller cities such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Niagara Falls, New York;and Dearborn, Michigan, had 87 to 67 percent.

Compared with currency from Brazil, Canada, China and Japan, U.S. bills had the highest percentage of cocaine, with 90 percent of 234 bank notes contaminated. Canada followed with 85 percent and Brazil with 80 percent. China and Japan had the lowest, with 20 and 12 percent respectively.

"Actually, we were surprised to find cocaine in Chinese bank note," Zuo said after analyzing 112 samples from China.

After the Communist Party took over, the country was relatively free of drugs from 1949 until the 1980s because of harsh punishments against substance use, he said. Two years ago, Zuo collaborated with Beijing scientists on testing bank notes and didn't find any contamination with cocaine.

"In the last year, 2008, we found trace amounts of cocaine," he said. In his study, the rate of drug-contaminated money varied geographically from urban to less populated areas. A hundred percent of the sample bills collected from major cities such as Miami, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan, tested positive for cocaine, but samples collected from smaller cities such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Niagara Falls, New York;and Dearborn, Michigan, had 87 to 67 percent.

Compared with currency from Brazil, Canada, China and Japan, U.S. bills had the highest percentage of cocaine, with 90 percent of 234 bank notes contaminated. Canada followed with 85 percent and Brazil with 80 percent. China and Japan had the lowest, with 20 and 12 percent respectively.

"Actually, we were surprised to find cocaine in Chinese bank note," Zuo said after analyzing 112 samples from China.

After the Communist Party took over, the country was relatively free of drugs from 1949 until the 1980s because of harsh punishments against substance use, he said. Two years ago, Zuo collaborated with Beijing scientists on testing bank notes and didn't find any contamination with cocaine.

"In the last year, 2008, we found trace amounts of cocaine," he said.
In the left margin, there's a fun little table that says that 88% of bills in Toronto tested positive for cocaine. ELFA!!

Source: 90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine - CNN.com
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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pfft, still 2 percent lower... we can do better I say
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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I pay for all my cocaine in pennies.

It's still legal tender, folks.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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wtffffffffffffffff

Is this about the stupid tape and gift wrapping?
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #5
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I pay for all my cocaine in pennies.

It's still legal tender, folks.
your dealer must love you
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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im sure the CIA bringing all the coke into the US and taking the money out to support the contras in the 80's contributed to this.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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This is why I only snort my coke with $100 bills. Not as many grubby dirty homeless people have touched them. I like my coke clean.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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wtffffffffffffffff

Is this about the stupid tape and gift wrapping?

Feel free to send me cash this year!
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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shouldn't you be getting a tattoo right about now?
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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57% of the U S Currency used to buy Medical Marijuana has traces of tobacco.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:37 PM   #11
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That headline should read:

90% of U.S. Bills Found to be More Awesome Then Previously Thought.

Subtext: Zoots claims now ready to get with skank.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UberBeaver View Post
That headline should read:

90% of U.S. Bills Found to be More Awesome Then Previously Though.

Subtext: Zoots claims now ready to get with skank.
Clearly the subtext is more newsworthy if you ask me
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by elevated_u2_fan View Post
Clearly the subtext is more newsworthy if you ask me
Are you looking for me to argue with you? Well, you're outta luck on this one, pal.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
shouldn't you be getting a tattoo right about now?
I'm about to hit the road, but I don't get ink'd til after dinner.

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Originally Posted by deep View Post
57% of the U S Currency used to buy Medical Marijuana has traces of tobacco.
nice edit

Quote:
Originally Posted by UberBeaver View Post
That headline should read:

90% of U.S. Bills Found to be More Awesome Then Previously Thought.

Subtext: Zoots claims now ready to get with skank.
You should write for CNN.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:21 PM   #15
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you got to be quick

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nice edit
some stupid and outrageous posts have a five minute expiration.
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