As people with nickel allergy know, prolonged contact with this metal
can cause the itchy rash characteristic of allergic contact dermatitis. Because
this is a common allergy, the amount of nickel in coins, including the euro
coins introduced last January, is regulated to prevent a problem in nickel-sensitive
Now, however, researchers in Zurich, Switzerland, have found that because
of a design flaw, 1-euro and 2-euro coins can generate an electrical current
that causes them to release amounts of nickel that vastly exceed the quantity
allowed. When the investigators taped the coins to the skin of seven people
with nickel-contact allergy, all seven developed rashes in 48 hours (Nature. 2002;419:132).
Stephenson J. Allergic to Money? JAMA. 2002;288(14):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1708
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: