Thursday, May 13, 2010

Leaching, and Fading, and Damage, Oh My!!





So we all have heard about the older card protecting products that will damage your cards by leaching chemicals over time. This same type plastic has been a culprit in more recent warnings about Nalgene water bottles. Maybe I'm taking the threat to seriously, but this risk scares the heck out of me when buying things to protect my cards.

If the product doesn't advertise that it is acid free and archival safe then I don't usually buy it. I figure, if a lot of products advertise being archival safe, then wouldn't every company want to make sure to advertise this feature if their product is in fact safe? It's like foods and the idea of "all natural"; if the company goes through the effort of making something the "all natural" way, then wouldn't they make absolutely sure to have that feature in their ad?

If I notice penny sleeves becoming yellowed or faded I immediately switch them out for a brand new one. The card shop owner must think I have the best card collection ever because I am always in there buying penny sleeves and top loaders.

But there are a few mysteries that I have yet to solve:

1. "The Condom Factor" - The penny sleeves that I buy are archival safe, but often I can't find top loaders and/or semi-rigid holders that are advertised as archival safe, and sometimes they say "archival safe when used with a polypropylene sleeve". Assuming the worst (they are loaded with PVC, acid, and HIV), Is my thin little polypropylene condom going to be a strong enough barrier to ward off the danger? For instance, I know that Lays potato chips in a plastic sandwich bag will manage to leak their grease right through the bag and then soak into the outer paper bag as well. If it turns out that the chemicals will go right through the penny sleeves, you guys might all be getting a large shipment of top loaders that I will be removing from my cards.

2. Snap Tites - Recently I bought a couple snap tite holders for some 1/1 sketch cards I had gotten. They didn't advertise as being archival safe, but the shop owner assured me that they were. He may have just been trying to make a sale, who knows. They are a dollar a piece, so I tend to think that the company would make them archival safe (especially since they are used without penny sleeves). Does anyone know if any of these snap tites are a no-go in terms of chemical leeching?

3. Mystery Wal-Mart Boxes - I bought a plastic box from wal-mart that is meant to store cards. I always prefer the plastic boxes to the cardboard ones. Again, it was not advertised as archival safe, nor was it produced by a company that I recognized, and it even has a kinda foggy look to it. It has gutters along the sides so that the corners of the cards don't get damaged. Would a company really have the awareness to design the box to protect the corners of the cards but neglect the chemical leeching problem? The box is a soft plastic rather than the hard plastic that the snap closed boxes are made with. Idk what to think.

Woah, looking for pictures to insert into the post, I just found this box. It looks effective. Seems to have precise corners, has adjustable dividers, and has side slots to fit your fingers in when taking out cards. I might jst have to get a couple of them. And apparently it holds up to 800 cards, which is bigger than I thought based on the picture.
This site has had every supply that I have ever thought about buying, check it out.

Advise is greatly appreciated, even if it's a sentence-long response :)


  1. I've had certain cards and sets in Ultra Pro Platinum products since 1989. Top loaders and pages.... no signs of aging/yellowing etc....

    other brands, not so much, so like you, i swapped everything out over the last year for Ultra Pro platinum. I find they work the best. i wish i could get sponsership from them....

  2. I go Ulta Pro Platinum on everything. If someone sends me a card in a sleeve and top loader I swap it out for a sleeve and loader I know are Ultra Pro. I have stacks and stacks of "unknown" top loaders.

  3. I only buy Ultra Pro as well. I also ran into this with my growing collection of autographed baseballs. I bought a few econocubes (?) a while back and realized that they were not UV protected. I ended up buying a CASE of UV protected ball cubes (and have another on the way) so my Musial, Feller, etc autos don't fade... I also switched out my son's autos too because his Mat Wieters he got 2 years ago was already fading (still not bad, but noticeable).

    Anyway, yeah, I definitely feel your pain man.

  4. Ultra Pro Platinum pages here as well. I by them by the case at my LCS for $100 each.

    In terms of multi-card cases, I still like the hinge-style cases. The tops are interchangeable and they fit inside 800ct boxes unlike the two-piece style cases.

    However, the 150ct hinge case narrows at the bottom just enough for the last few cards to get stuck. Broke a few cases trying to get a card or two out.

  5. This topic worries me too. It reminds me of life in general. Foods that are poison to us and we don't know it. 3D causes headaches and seizures. Microwaves cause cancer. One drink a day will save us but two will kill us. Coca Cola weakens bones. I'm sick with worry and that is what will really do me in.

    I am in fact taking some autos and old cards out of magnetic holders (very safe) and putting them into my binders (not as safe).

    I never see them if they stay in the holders. I want to see my collection. I want to enjoy it. The majority of the time I only see my cards when flipping through binders.

    Am I causing harm to them by putting them in sheets instead of leaving them in magnetic holders? Perhaps. I'll use decent sheets like others mention, but really, if my cards stay with me for 50 years I think I've gotten my enjoyment.

    Good topic!

  6. 很精彩的部落格 期待你的繼續加油........................................