Photo safety is a complex subject and it is difficult to know what to do about it. Here, in one concise list are my recommendations for Ahni, Zoe, Creative Memories, Our Memories for Life, and anyone else concerned about photo safety:
- Run pH and buffering tests on paper products. These test will verify that the paper is acid-free and buffered to resist the effect of acids in memorabilia and in the environment.
- Test all colored paper for bleed. Dyes should be an integral part of the paper and not migrate to items attached to the paper.
- Run the photographic activity test on paper and adhesives. The photographic activity test ensures that products will not react with photographs and other materials.
- Avoid PVC. With so many other materials available, there is really no reason to use PVC.
- Test adhesives to ensure that photos will not fall off album pages over time.
- Evaluate light stability. While it is not directly related to photo safety, I really hate to see products fade.
These tests may not cover all aspects of photo safety, but they provide a good starting point.
Tests should be run annually to ensure that products remain photo safe.