Note: Richmond and Baltimore customers should also refer to the specific packaging instructions defined below (item 4-a).
Contaminated currency is currency that has been damaged by or exposed to contaminants, poses a health hazard or safety risk, and cannot be processed under normal operating procedures. This definition does not apply to currency that has been exposed to a bio-terrorist agent (either biological or chemical). Please contact your local Cash office for specific instructions on handling currency exposed to a bio-terrorist agent.
Financial Institutions should obtain as much information as possible from their customer regarding the type and extent of the contamination before contacting the local Cash Office to deposit Contaminated Currency.
Contamination may result in Currency emitting offensive odors and displaying mold-like conditions. In general, contamination may be caused by the following:
Note: Currency that is burnt, but has not been exposed to any contaminants, is not considered Contaminated Currency. Please refer to the procedures for handling Mutilated Currency for more information.
The Federal Reserve Banks have developed the following special deposit requirements for the treatment of contaminated currency. These requirements help protect the safety of staff at the Federal Reserve Banks and within your financial institution.
Prepare a contaminated currency deposit using the following step-by-step process:
If proper advance notification of a contaminated currency deposit does not occur, or if proper packaging requirements are not met, the Federal Reserve Banks reserve the right to return the deposit to the financial institution. For more information, contact your local Cash office.
The Federal Reserve does not accept deposits of Contaminated Coin. Contaminated Coin must be decontaminated according to guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for decontamination of "Other Household Surfaces and Items" (see below).
Customers who wish to deposit coin after decontamination should contact the Federal Reserve Bank for further instructions.
Surfaces that do not soak up water, and that may have touched floodwater or other contaminated liquids (Examples: floors, stoves, sinks, certain toys, countertops, flatware, plates, tools, and coins), should be cleaned in the following manner.
Visit www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters (Off-site Link) or call (800) 232-4636 for additional information.
*An autoclave bag is a medical-grade self-sealing bag used to store contaminated materials in order to be put into an autoclave machine which is a pressurized device (Off-site Link) designed to heat aqueous solutions above their boiling point (Off-site Link) at higher-than-normal pressures to achieve sterilization (Off-site Link).
** The non-standard sterilization practice currently exists at oneFederal Reserve office due to the absence of an off-site destruction facility in the geographic region.
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