According to a new study published in a letter to the
journal Nature, Euro coin users may get blisters -
their high nickel content is giving people with allergies
rashes and blisters after contact.
"There's another complaint against some euro coins -- they
cause skin irritation in people who are sensitive to nickel.
Scientists at the University of Zurich studied the phenomenon
by taping one- and two-euro coins to the skin of patients with
nickel allergies. After 48 to 72 hours, all the patients showed
a strong allergic reaction, including redness and blisters.
The researchers say these coins [the two-Euro] cause more
irritation than other coins with similar levels of nickel, and they
think they know why.
The one- and two-euro coins are made with a ring of one
metallic alloy surrounding a central "pill" of another alloy.
Both alloys contain nickel.
When the coins are exposed to sweaty hands, ions flow
between the two compounds, which generates a tiny electrical
charge, and makes both metals corrode faster than they would
The amount of nickel released can be more than 300 times
the levels permitted under European Union regulations. The
scientists confirmed the effect by soaking coins in artificial
The reaction also takes its toll on the coins: They changed
color and showed signs of corrosion."
See also the December 2, 2001 E-Sylum (v4n49) for an earlier
item on this topic. -Editor]
Wayne Homren, Editor
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