Yellowing of archival plastic bags and tags

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      Nancy Freeze
      Member

      I was wondering if anyone has noticed that archival quality polyethylene plastic bags and acid-free tags will sometimes yellow after a few years when in contact with certain archaeological materials.  I have noticed it the most with organics, but today, I have noticed it with chert debitage.  It does not have a smell and  the artifacts don’t seem “bothered” but it makes seeing through the supposedly clear plastic bags a pain.  I ask the people who worked with me to always double bag organics and materials that will continue to deteriorate like prehistoric sherds, metals especially iron based ones so there is no contact with the acid free tag.  But what’s most troubling is that the archival quality 4 mil  and 2 mil polyethylene bags are doing this.  The collection I am working with today has only been stored for about 10 years.

      Please feel free to post to other lists if you think that might help get an answer.

      Marybeth

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