Health insurance news - New silver coins could lead to skin problems
It is believed that some new 5p and 10p coins set to be released into circulation could lead to people suffering from skin problems.
Traditionally, silver coins have been made with 75 per cent copper with a 25 per cent nickel, however, the new coins have been produced using steel at the core and full nickel coating
According to a report in the British Medical Journal, dermatologists are concerned that the coins could cause problems for those that have allergies to nickel, in particular, certain types of eczema sufferers.
The Royal Mint changed the way it manufactures coins because of the rising cost of copper and said that has it no concerns over them having an adverse impact on people's health.
Currently it is estimated that ten per cent of the population, most of which are women, have an allergy towards nickel and could suffer skin problems if they came into contact with coins made in the manner explained above.
Indeed the Swedish Riksbank, the central bank in Sweden, recently stated that nickel-plated coins pose an "unacceptable risk to health".
In this country the issue has been raised by dermatologists at both the St John's Institute of Dermatology in London and at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
In a letter to the British Medical journal, they said that the potential of skin problems from the coins could have severe financial implications for the National Health Service (NHS), negating the £10 million the treasury intends on saving by no longer using copper.
"Considerable evidence supports these concerns, which have not been assessed by the Treasury or Royal Mint," a segment of the letter read.
However, a Royal Mint spokesman said that while there has not been a health assessment on the coins, the change met all current guidelines and both it and the government are confident that no skin problems will occur.