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Tag ‘euro’

Euro notes responsible for impotency

Saturday, March 2nd, 2002

The euro made me impotent… (and it’s not doing much for inflation, either)
So far, it’s hardly led to virile economies.  In the countries that have adopted it, the euro’s performance has been flaccid, to put it mildly.  But now a German man claims the switch to the single currency has had a similar dire impact on his personal life – robbing him of his manhood.
(Daily Mail, 2 March 2002, page 23)

Euros left me flop in sack
A bus driver claims chemicals in the new ten euro note have left him a flop in the bedroom.  Wolfgang Fritz, 55, says he hasn’t managed to get an erection since he started handling the cash and is suing the German government.
(The Sun, 2 March 2002, page 10)

The source of these stories is a German Greenpeace article and a test carried out by a German laboratory with one 10 euro banknote on behalf of the magazine ‘Ökotest’.  Before the launch of the euro notes, the European Central Bank (ECB) tested all seven denominations against the most stringent European health and safety regulations which confirmed they do not cause any health problems in normal use.  The laboratory working for ‘Ökotest’ has confirmed that traces of the stabiliser TBT found in a 10 euro banknote are in no way large enough to impact on the health of the users of euro notes (TBT is used as stabiliser in food packaging, textiles, wood preservatives, disinfectants).  In order to reach the recommended Tolerable Daily Intake of TBT, the average person would need to eat more than 2,500 euro notes per day over a significant period of time! 
Despite the reassuring outcome of all earlier tests of euro notes, the ECB has recently commissioned a specialised laboratory to look into this specific matter and further detailed analysis will be conducted.

Nickel in euro coins will make you sick

Sunday, December 30th, 2001

Watch out, the euro can make you sick
It has been accused of crushing national identity, pushing up prices and being the best friend of fraudsters and drug barons.  But now the euro – Europe’s new single currency – faces its toughest criticism: it can make you ill.  After years of anticipation, the coins and notes will be launched in 12 countries on Tuesday.  But millions of people who eagerly grab their new coins could see their hands turn into a scaly, diseased mass after minutes.  …  Medical researchers have conducted tests showing the coins can make far more people sick than the currencies they replace.
(The Observer, 30 December 2001, page 1)

Is the euro a rash move?
Never mind the supposed constitutional problems involved in joining the euro – the coins themselves could turn out to be bad for your health.  …  Eurosceptics would have you believe that the euro is a potentially fatal step towards a European superstate but according to new scientific research the single currency could be a hazard for human health too.
(Guardian Unlimited, 14 December 2001)

Reports of allergies caused by the nickel used in the one and two euro coins made for a classic scare story, particularly in the final days before the introduction of the new currency.  What the papers failed to realise is that the use of nickel in coins is not a recent development.  Apart from the one and two pence pieces, all UK coins currently in circulation contain nickel.  Nickel is used in the US five-cent piece and was widely used in national coins across the EU before the euro was introduced.  In fact, all 12 euro-zone members had coins that contained the same level of nickel as the one and two euro coins.
Ministers from each of the 15 EU Member States agreed on the metal composition of euro coins in 1998.  The European Commission raised the issue of potential allergies from nickel at the time and two scientific studies were carried out.  It was decided to use nickel only in the one and two euro coins, which demand a very high level of security.  As a result, 92% of euro coins in circulation are nickel-free, as opposed to 25% of national coins.  In addition, the nickel used in one and two euro coins is essentially contained inside the alloy and not on the surface, thus limiting skin contact.

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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