Biological Factors Affecting the Durability, Usability and Chemical Composition of Paper Banknotes in Global Circulation

Document Type : Original Article


1 Designer - Banknotes Printing House – Central Bank of Egypt.

2 Professor at Printing, Publishing and Packaging Department- Faculty of Applied Arts – Helwan University.

3 Cellulose and Paper Department, National Research Centre, 12622, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.


Banknotes are widely exchanged for goods and services overall the world, which could play a role in transferring infectious diseases through contact. This study has performed the survey of the microbial contamination in Egyptian paper banknotes and their role on banknotes biodegradation, soiling, dirtiness and deterioration. Twenty four paper currency notes of all available denominations (three samples of each denomination as an example for a different period of use) were collected from different areas in Egypt. All samples were found high contaminated with bacteria except the new 50 piasters note, which was zero bacterial contamination. This study results showed that the paper banknotes can be post coated by varnish (conventional – antibacterial) or converted to using polymer may be effective or long-lasting antibacterial paper as well as in order to reduce the microbial population and exceed the negative effect of the microorganism contaminations. Moreover, many samples were found with high contamination with E. Coli which transferred mainly from human feces. Moreover, the high contamination samples were remarked high cellulase enzyme content which affect paper banknotes (cellulose).


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