Traders body (Confederation of All India Traders/ CAIT) wrote to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking an investigation to assess the chances of health hazards posed through currency notes and urged him to take preventive steps to protect people from diseases due to their contamination.
The CAIT quoted several studies and media reports in the letter to highlight the issue, and the copies were sent to Health Minister J P Nadda and Minister for Science and Technology Harshvardhan to bring the problem to their attention.
‘Money carries several micro-organisms which cause various diseases. Any droplet or airborne illness can easily get transmitted through the currency, and thus it is highly advised to clean hands after handling money.
The studies cited by the traders' body have claimed that currency notes carry various microorganisms which can cause several diseases and infections including urinary and respiratory tract infections, skin infections, recurrent meningitis, septicemia, toxic shock syndrome and a variety of gastrointestinal diseases.
Although many studies point to the alarming facts almost every year, sadly no notice has been given to this serious public health problem.
Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT Secretary-General stated that trading community is the largest user of currency notes and he urged the Medical Council of India and the Indian Medical Association to investigate further regarding the issue.