The COVID-19 pandemic understandably has a lot of people concerned about the spread of the virus. While there are a lot of precautions we can take to slow the spread of the virus, including keeping our hands clean and wearing face masks in public, there are some things that we should not do. We should not, for example, be microwaving library books, which some people have been doing during the pandemic.
The Kent District Library in Grand Rapids asked its patrons to please not put their books in their libraries after a book was returned with scorch marks. The marks were the result of radio frequency tags on the books catching on fire in the microwave. The library added that it is already taking precautions to make sure books are safe, so there’s no need for book borrowers to go to additional measures to disinfect books. “Reminder that KDL will quarantine returned materials for 72 hours.” the library wrote in a Facebook post.
Books aren't the only thing you shouldn't be putting in the microwave
The fact that people have been microwaving books has the library’s employees baffled. “I don’t know if it was something that they saw on the news, that they thought maybe the heat would kill COVID-19,” Kent District Library regional manager Elizabeth Guarino-Kozlowicz told the Detroit Free Press.
Books aren’t the only non-edible items people have been putting in the microwave during the pandemic. People have also tried putting their face masks in the microwave to disinfect them. Again, this is not something that you should try at home. “We’ve read about people microwaving, boiling, or putting masks in the oven — none of these methods are safe or effective, as they may degrade the mask fabric and pose a fire hazard,” the American Cleaning Institute’s senior VP for communications, Brian Sansoni, told CNN. “Laundering the masks is the way to go.”
Of course, laundering a book is not an option, so if you’re really concerned about the book being virus-free, opt for an e-book instead of a physical copy.
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