Money is the most common item with which we have daily contact. Circulated banknotes and coins can become microbiologically contaminated and act as both a source and a means of spreading such pollutants.

Material and methods:
The study was carried out in three money sorting facilities in Poland. Bioaerosol samples were collected using a 6-stage Andersen impactor, and microorganisms deposited on tabletop surfaces were sampled using the swab method. Bacterial and fungal concentrations were calculated and all isolated species were taxonomically identified.

The study confirmed that means of payment are active sources of microbial emission in money sorting facilities. The bioaerosol concentrations did not exceed the threshold limit values proposed for this type of office premises. It confirms that ventilation systems in these facilities worked efficiently, protecting them from the migration of microbial contaminants present in both indoor and outdoor (atmospheric) background air. On the other hand, the average concentrations of bacteria and fungi on tabletop surfaces in banknote and coin sorting rooms were above the proposed purity levels for indoor surfaces and should be treated as microbiologically contaminated. Microbiota isolated from the air and surfaces were very diverse and among those strains were bacterial and fungal pathogens that can pose a health threat to exposed individuals.

The results showed that employees in money sorting facilities were exposed to microorganisms that may contribute to the development of adverse health outcomes. To protect them, highly efficient hygienic measures should be introduced in this working environment, to prevent both unwanted pollution and subsequent secondary emission of microbial contaminants from sorted means of payment and tabletop surfaces.

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