Probably the best reason to wash your hands regularly is that the world is covered in feces. You might want to wash your hands the next time you withdraw cash from an ATM machine, a new study suggests. The most abundant bacteria on the keypads were normal human skin microbes. The most commonly identified sources of bacteria were household surfaces, such as televisions, restrooms, kitchens, and pillows as well as from bony fish, mollusks, and chicken.
ATM surfaces, potentially retaining microbial signatures of human inhabitants … are interesting from both a biodiversity perspective and a public health perspective. They focused on neighborhoods with distinct population demographics, swabbing around for patterns. The goal was to add to the body of work on the “urban microbiome. Keypads on ATMs in laundromats and stores had the highest number of bacteria, with the most prominent being lactic acid bacteria, which is usually found in decomposing plants or milk products.
The most striking biomarkers regarded food species on ATM keypads were those that aligned with eating habits of certain neighborhoods, like bony fish and mollusks.
However, there is no significant difference was found in the keypads from ATMs located outdoors versus indoors, the researchers noted. Meanwhile, you might want to get some hand sanitizer.