October 15 was Global Handwashing Day, but a new study suggests maybe it’s more than your hands you’ll want to wash. UK researchers have found that one in 10 bank cards and one in seven bills were found to be contaminated with fecal matter.

Announced on Monday, the study is the latest to be carried out by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, alerting us to the fact we live in a cesspool of filth. The research team did get backing from Radox Handwash soap products, but nonetheless, the results do supply your gross-out du jour.

The team took bacterial samples from hands, credit cards, and currency in various formats from cities in the UK, including London, Birmingham, and Liverpool. Findings revealed that more than a quarter of hands sampled showed traces of E. coli. Also, 11 percent of hands, eight percent of cards, and six percent of bank notes showed “gross contamination – where the levels of bacteria detected were equal to that you would expect to find in a dirty toilet bowl,” claims a press release.

Rather than bathing your money in a bucket of bleach, the solution is to simply wash your hands, frequently with soap and water. “If you eat or drink something without washing your hands, or if you touch your own nose, mouth, or eyes after shaking someone’s hand, you can introduce whatever germ was on their hand, and now your hand, into the portals of your body,” said Philip M. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Medical Center, in an interview with health website WebMD.

You can also lightly wipe down your credit cards with a sanitizer, advises Money Blue Book website. While the idea of touching fecal matter isn’t pleasing, credit cards can harbour flu bugs during peak seasons, so it’s not a bad idea to keep each housed in its own plastic case in your wallet so it doesn’t touch other cards or any money. For more tips, check out http://www.moneybluebook.com/is-your-credit-card-making-you-sick/Y and http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2012/dirty_money.html – AFP RELAX NEWS