New coins could cause skin problems

Concerns have been raised over new five and 10 pence coins being introduced into circulation

Dermatologists have raised fears that five and 10 pence coins being introduced could cause skin problems.

The nickel plated steel coins will replace the current version which contains 75 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel in response to the rising cost of copper.

The Treasury say it could save £10 million a year but up to 10 per cent of the population, predominantly women, are thought to be affected by the nickel allergy.

Experts from St John’s Institute of Dermatology and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield have warned there has been no health checks on the new coins, which could have financial implications for the NHS.

Calling for the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington to look into the matter they say: ‘Considerable evidence supports these concerns, which have not been assessed by the Treasury.’

A spokesman for the coin manufacturing body Royal Mint says that although there have been no specific health checks, the move meets with all existing guidelines.

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