LONDON — Take a look at your finger. Does it look normal? There’s a one in 10 chance your hands have cocaine on them, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve ever done drugs.
A new study in Britain showed that among non-drug users, 13 percent showed detectable traces of cocaine on their fingerprints, and 1 percent showed signs of heroin.
But if you’ve never done drugs, then how did it get there? Researchers say they’ve long known cocaine is a common environmental contaminant. You could pick it up from touching a dollar bill, or maybe a surface it had been on.
However, the researchers said they were surprised how many people who don’t do drugs had the drug right there on their fingerprints. Researchers also found that shaking hands with someone who had done either drug in the last 24 hours was enough to transfer it onto your hands.
But could that really matter? It might. In 2015, a British bus driver who had been fired for failing a drug test won a lawsuit for wrongful termination, after it was determined he had simply handled cash that had traces of cocaine on it.
Either way, it’s one more reason it’s a good idea to wash your hands often. You never know exactly what you’ve been touching.