According to a new study, one should be highly cautious when visiting the ATM, especially without a hand sanitizer. Scientists at New York University tested microbes as research for a study. The study collected its research material from keypads of 66 ATM machines from various known cities in the US.
The most common identified sources of microbes on the ATM keypads were found to be from household surfaces; televisions, restrooms, kitchens and pillows, including 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,” lead author NYU project scientist Holly M. Bik and her colleagues wrote. 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.”
However, “The research didn’t determine how many of these microbes were still active when collected, and it’s possible that many were in such small amounts that they wouldn’t be harmful,” stated one of the authors of the study.