Document Detail

Effects of gastric acid on euro coins: chemical reaction and radiographic appearance after ingestion by infants and children.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15333527     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated whether coins of the new European currency (euro) corrode when they are exposed to gastric acid, and whether this change can be detected radiographically. METHODS: The eight different denominations of coins were immersed for seven days in 0.15 N hydrochloride acid (HCl), which corresponds to the level of post-prandial gastric acid. A Swedish crown coin and three different Austrian schilling coins were used as controls. The coins were weighed and radiographed daily to evaluate visible corrosions and HCl was analysed daily for possible dissolved substances. RESULTS: All coins lost weight within 24 hours after exposure to HCl. The 1, 2, and 5 euro cent coins developed changes that were visible on radiographs. The weights of all coins decreased by 0.43% to 11.30% during one week. The dissolved substances measured in the HCl corresponded to the different metals and alloys of the coins, except for copper, which does not dissolve in HCl. The highest absolute weight loss was observed in the Swedish crown coin (0.67 g), and the highest relative weight loss in the 1 Austrian schilling coin (11.30%). The two coins that showed the highest absolute and relative weight losses were the 2 euro (0.54 g or 6.35%) and the 1 euro (0.48 g or 6.39%) coin. CONCLUSIONS: A higher rate of toxicity for the new European coins compared with coins of other currencies is not expected, unless a massive coin ingestion occurs.
S Puig; M Scharitzer; K Cengiz; E Jetzinger; L Rupprecht
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Emergency medicine journal : EMJ     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1472-0213     ISO Abbreviation:  Emerg Med J     Publication Date:  2004 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-08-30     Completed Date:  2005-03-01     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100963089     Medline TA:  Emerg Med J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  553-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Radiology, University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
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MeSH Terms
Alloys / chemistry
Child, Preschool
Copper / chemistry
Foreign Bodies / metabolism*,  radiography
Gastric Acid / chemistry*
Hydrochloric Acid / pharmacology*
Nickel / chemistry
Postprandial Period
Steel / chemistry
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alloys; 12597-69-2/Steel; 7440-02-0/Nickel; 7440-50-8/Copper; 7647-01-0/Hydrochloric Acid

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