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Myth Buzz-ters: Can a table lamp really melt a new polymer bill?

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Melting a polymer bill - start
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Melting a polymer bill - start

A woman from London, Ont., says Canada's new polymer bank notes can't even withstand the heat of a table lamp.

Trina Moniz told the Toronto Sun she placed $1,200 cash in an envelope on a table for a few hours and the bills melted, shrunk and warped into misshapen lumps. Moniz said the Bank of Canada told her it could take up to eight months to replace the money, according to the newspaper.

Now, I am not a scientist. But with careful planning I was able to construct a highly complex experiment using one lamp, one $20 polymer bill and one 40 watt, 120 volt light bulb.

Using astute observation, I monitored the bill over the course of five hours. It did not melt.

The Mythbusters might triumphantly declare this myth busted, but there are other considerations we must address.

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There are light bulbs available that would give off more heat, and some that would produce less. Whatever lamp Moniz had on her table when she deposited the envelope containing $1,200 in cash, it must have been stronger than mine, thankfully for me.

But several reports have emerged stating Canadians' new money has melted in hot cars, near heaters and on top of toaster ovens. The Bank of Canada has said repeatedly the bills were tested in boiling water and they can stay intact at temperatures up to 140 C.

Of course, the old paper bills could light on fire, arguably posting an even greater risk.

Canadians looking for a positive note about their new notes can ask Wayne Klinkel of Montana, who might say that at least polymer money is harder for your dog to swallow.

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