Filthy lucre takes on a whole new meaning with the new 1-euro and 2-euro coins.
A recent study concludes that the coins release up to 320 times as much nickel as
European standards permit for prolonged contact with the metal - a common skin allergen.
The culprit is the anodic action between the coin's double nickel alloy construction.
A 40 mA current flows between the two alloys at the interface. "It's like a mini-battery,"
said one investigator. The current leads to corrosion and the release of nickel
ions. Job Announcement: The E.U. is in desperate need of a junior level college
chemistry major to consult before settling on the design of the new euro coins.