Nickel Release from Euro and Polish Coins: a Health Risk?
Sławomir Smolik1, Paweł Nogaj2, Dorota Domal-Kwiatkowska1, Ewa Moric-Janiszewska1, Ludmiła Węglarz1
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1Department of Biochemistry, Medical University of Silesia, Narcyzów 1, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
2Department of Instrumental Analysis, Medical University of Silesia, Narcyzów 1, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2010;19(5):1007–1011
The role of contact with nickel-containing coins has been controversial. The aim of our study was to compare the release of nickel from Euro (1 and 2) coins and from Polish coins (2 PLN and 5 PLN) at 4ºC and 32ºC in an immersion test using artificial sweat according to the EU reference method. Nickel extract was analyzed at 8 time points starting from 1 h up to 168 h. After 7 days of test duration at 32ºC, nickel ion concentration was 96.27±4.01 μg/cm2, 79.31±1.95 μg/cm2, 38.34±1.19 μg/cm2, and 32.17±2.36 μg/cm2 for 2 Euro, 1 Euro, 5 PLN, and 2 PLN, respectively. The amount of nickel ion released at 4ºC was reduced by about 70% and 40% for Euro and Polish coins, respectively. These values exceed the limit acceptable for prolonged contact with human skin as defined by the EU Nickel Directive, which indicates that nickel may be capable of eliciting allergic reactions in subjects handling nickel-containing coins daily.