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Florida of the day: Please don’t microwave library books

Facebook post with photo of book with scorch marks around its embedded RFID chip: Temple Terrace and all Hillsborough County Library Cooperative libraries quarantine all materials for 72 hours after they are returned. Please do NOT attempt to microwave library materials as the RFID tags, located inside, will catch fire. Stay safe out there.
Tap the screenshot to see the original Facebook post.

The public library of Temple Terrace (a Tampa neighborhood just a little north of Seminole Heights, where I live) had to post a Facebook notice telling people not to microwave books that they borrow.

It’s generally a bad idea to microwave paper, including money…

…but it’s even worse to microwave library books, as they have RFID tags, which are made of a thin layer of metal. Microwaves heat up thin layers of metal really quickly, bringing them up to the temperature that will ignite paper:

The library quarantines returned books for 72 hours before loaning them out again, which is believed to be enough time for contaminated surfaces to become safe:

Remember, viruses aren’t made of living cells. From a certain point of view, they’re just chemicals — DNA, protein, and fat — but they’re chemicals that have a knack for replicating themselves by rewriting the DNA of cells that they infiltrate:

So yes, keep borrowing books and other materials from the library. Wash your hands after using them. But don’t microwave them!

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