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Spanish Notes Spread Coke Spanish Notes Spread Coke

By Hayley Birch

Your average bank note has a life span of around three to four years. By the time a note meets its end – old, fragile and faded - in the shredder at the post office, you might expect it to have passed through thousands of grubby little paws.

New research now suggests that it's more than likely to have been up a fair few grubby nostrils as well.

The cash sitting in your wallet right now might have changed hands in any number of unsavoury and not entirely hygienic scenarios. Actually, if you think about it too hard, the fact that someone may have stuck it up his or her filthy snout is probably the least of your worries.

But according to a new study, that’s exactly where most Spanish notes have been. The Sailab laboratory concluded that ninety-four out of a hundred bank notes tested were carrying traces of nose candy, better known to most of us as cocaine. This is unsurprising when you consider that 1.6% of Spaniards now claim to use the drug regularly. The notes, which were collected at gyms, supermarkets and chemists nationwide, were either rolled and used for snorting, or else had been contaminated by other bank notes.

Presumably though, if several payments were made with the same note in quick succession, it wouldn’t just be coke passing from person to person. An addict harbouring a particularly nasty, green mucus producing type of infection might unwittingly inflict the same misery on a whole string of others. Perhaps what would be more interesting would be a study of disease transmission dynamics among habitual coke users and traders. One might assume the most successful dealers to be in permanent poor health.

Find out more about Hayley and read more of her articles here.

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