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I was reading this question about destroying safety data from CD's and I was about to recommend in a comment to use this laser in form of a lighter that is >2000 times more powerful than the sun in which video the poster is being seen how he literally melts some CD's. Which leads me to this question, I've seen warnings in labels of DVD/CD's that says "Don't expose to heat or direct sunlight" but I don't know the effects of, for example, 5 seconds exposed to the sunlight while I insert them into a drive in outsiders. I know that the prolonged exposition would heat the material and damaged it, but does the sunlight alone without taking into account the temperature does the same effect? or the damage to the media in done in some other way?

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I have read sunlight could act as a catalyst or that it slowly degrades the metallic film due to photochemical reactions with present impurities. I can't source this, but I probably have read it here at SU. –  Doktoro Reichard Oct 15 '13 at 21:33
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From http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub121/sec5.html:

Synopsis:

  • CD/DVD-ROM: Little to no change in material properties over the short term
  • CD/DVD-R: Can greatly damage disks due to changing of basic chemical properties in the disk, heat also can impart changes on the structure of the grooves (essentially writing when it shouldn't be written to)
  • CD/DVD-RW: Material isn't light sensitive
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What about BD and HD-DVD? –  Braiam Oct 16 '13 at 23:24
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