ATMs as Dirty as Public Toilets

Study finds keypad bacteria levels similar to public toilets
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2011 4:41 AM CST
Now wash your hands.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

(Newser) – The average ATM is so filthy that you might as well be taking your cash from under a public toilet seat, according to a British study. Researchers—funded by a company that makes antibacterial product coatings—took swabs from the keypads of ATMs in busy areas and from under the seats of public toilets. Both samples sprouted about the same amount of bacteria known to cause diarrhea and other sicknesses.

"We were surprised by our results because the ATM machines were shown to be heavily contaminated with bacteria—to the same level as nearby public lavatories," the lead researcher tells the Telegraph. "In addition the bacteria we detected on ATMs were similar to those from the toilet, which are well known as causes of human illnesses."

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