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Canadian bills: Melting in the heat?

Staff writers
July 16, 2012 — Recent reports of the new $50 and $100 polymer Canadian bills being damaged in extreme heat are catching people's attention.

The bills were said to be "indestructable."
The bills were said to be "indestructable."

They were tested in extreme temperatures, ranging from 140°C and to -75°C. 

But now, it seems, the new Canadian 50 and 100 dollar bills can't take the heat. In fact, in some cases, the polymer bills have been shrivelling up like a piece of cooked bacon. 

As the Toronto Star reported this week, some Canadians have been shocked to discover that their so-called indestructible new bills are being damaged by heat. Cases of the 50's and 100's being "fried" in hot cars, on top of toaster ovens and close to heaters have all been reported. 

Recent heat waves and days of scorching temperatures aren't helping matters, either. 

Last November, when the new $50 and $100's were put into circulation by the Bank of Canada, spokesperson Julie Girard told The Weather Network that the bills were designed to withstand the elements.

Made of polymer, not paper
Made of polymer, not paper

“We wanted to make sure that the transition to polymer would meet all of the requirements of Canada, including extreme weather shifts from one season to the next or one region to the next.” 

And tests demonstrated that the bill “weathered” very well in all of the different Canadian conditions. 

“We put them in boiling water and we also put them in a chamber that went all the way down to -61°C to make sure they resisted very well.” 

On Tuesday, temperatures climbed into the mid-thirties outside of The Weather Network studio in Oakville, Ontario -- making it a perfect time to conduct an in-house experiment.

Sheryl Plouffe, News Manager for The Weather Network, left a $50.00 bill on the dashboard of her car but, in this case, the heat proved to be no match for the bill.

After five sweltering hours, it wasn't the slightest bit damaged.

"I presume its well over 50°C inside my car," she said as she examined the note, "but clearly the bills are staying in-tact."

Only a small number of notes have been damaged by the heat overall, but the Bank of Canada is investigating. They say they will also redeem damaged notes after they’ve examined them at their laboratory in Ottawa.

With files from the Toronto Star 

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