Can ATM Make You Sick?

A functional ATM machine dispensing cash may be India’s most indefinable gem for now though it’s your struggle now days “To find a working ATM and join in a long queue to withdraw money” might also lead to health hazards.

Finding a working ATM, after removal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from public circulation as part of attack on corruption and illegal cash holdings, may not be a win, after all.

Researchers has given caution that, you should be very careful when you visit the nearby automated teller machine (ATM) next time, because the keypad may be full with bacteria from spoiled food to parasites, which can also cause sexually transmitted disease (STDs).

Automated teller machine (ATM) keypads signify a precise and unexplored microhabitat for microbial communities, Researchers added.

Atm“Results suggest that ATM keypads integrate microbes from different sources, including the human microbiome, foods, and potentially novel environmental organisms adapted to air or surfaces,” said Jane Carlton, Professor at New York University, US.

“DNA obtained from ATM keypads therefore provides a record of both human behavior and environmental source of microbes,” Carlton added.

The general identified sources of microbes on these keypads were from household surfaces of televisions, restrooms, kitchens and pillows, the same as from bony fish and chicken also.

Remaining DNA from a food may remain on an individual’s hands and can be transferred to the ATM keypad while using, the researchers suggested.

ATM keypads located in Laundromats and stores had the highest number of biomarkers with the most prominent being Lactobacillales (lactic acid bacteria), usually found in decaying plants or milk products.

In other samples, the researchers found the biomarker Xeromyces bisporus, which related to spoiled baked goods.

Further, the team found a parasite normally seen in the human guts and other mammals, alongside with a species related to the human parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, which potentially can cause STD.

However, no any significant difference was found in the keypads from Outdoor and Indoor ATMs, the researcher incorporated in the paper published in the journal ‘mSphere