PVC warning!


A number of collectors have been discovering chemical damage to vinyl albums. This appears to be caused by a chemical reaction with the harder PVC record storage bags many collectors like us purchased to carefully protect our albums. The advice to anyone who has records stored in these is get rid more or less at once. DTB reader John Derry put me onto the problem:

“Back in the eighties, I was a bit of a record collector and I spent a fair chunk of my hard earned cash on vinyl. To protect this investment, I always put the records in PVC outer sleeves. It was only (recently) that I noticed some of the vinyl had acquired a cloudy appearance. Many of these (records) were bought new by me so should have been in pristine condition. 
I bought a lot of 12” singles in the eighties and would put the vinyl in an inner sleeve and then place the record cover and inner sleeve side by side inside a PVC outer cover. What I noticed was that the side of the vinyl next to the record cover was in pristine condition BUT the side facing out toward the PVC cover had become cloudy. I should emphasise that there is no direct contact between my vinyl and the PVC covers – this reaction has taken place “through” the poly lined inner sleeve. If you have any PVC record covers, my advice would be to “bin ‘em” before they wreck your precious vinyl.”
I must admit I never liked the PVC covers, and found they would sometimes react with the album cover varnish, so I have got rid of most of them and replaced with those soft polythene type bags. I’m sure there will be specialist firms out there doing archive storage bags if you hunt about.
Along similar lines, I personally recommend removing any shrink wrap from vinyl. I notice when I have left the shrink wrap on some albums it is shrinking and so actually bending the card. This is a real bummer for collectors who have liked to keep one copy unopened.
The preservation and conservation of plastics of all types is a huge issue in museum circles as they struggle to find ways to keep collections from degrading.

You can't fool the wax.jpg

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