Warning to all record collectors!!! (outer bag/inner sleeve concerns)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by rockadelic, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. rockadelic

    rockadelic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have found that some of my records that were housed in thick plastic jackets (like the ones that simply vinyl used & the ones that came with the laser discs) causes what some people describe as 'fogging' or 'bag rash'.
    This effect causes either one or both sides of the vinyl to be blurred. Not only it is unsightly but also cause a swooshing or hissing sound in the background when played. I also noticed that all picture discs that were housed in these sleeves were the worst hit as they came in direct contact with it.
    I do not know why this happened, I presume that there is a chemical reaction between the jacket & the vinyl. Maybe someone who is an expert in the chemical field can find an answer.
    There is no known cure for this problem as I have tried many ways of washing them but to no avail. The effect is permenant.
    I urge all collectors who use these type of jackets to check your lps & picture discs asap. Do not leave it in storage as time will only increase the rate of degeneration.
  2. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Thank you for the information rockadelic and I'm sorry this happened to your records. Perhaps the sleeves cause some sort of chemical reaction would be my guess. I know the type of sleeve you're referring to, those were fairly common on laserdiscs in the 80s/90s and on most 80s-now collectible picture discs. My record collection contains items from the 1940s-present and all of those are housed in the original paper sleeves. I also bought extra paper sleeves from record dealers, bookstores and antique stores for that very purpose. I would recommend that everyone invest in an extra supply of paper sleeves for LPs, 45s and 78s.
    Licorice pizza likes this.
  3. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    Wow that sucks. Did you put them outside their covers in these sleeves?
    scobb likes this.
  4. Jbeck57143

    Jbeck57143 Forum Resident

    IL, USA
  5. rockadelic

    rockadelic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Unfortunately I left some of these lps in their respective PVC jackets. I have since thrown all of them away.
    In addition I would like add that the lps from the Italian label earmark also housed some of their earlier releases in the same PVC jackets as well.
    In retrospect I would rather have a couple light scuffs than a fogged record.
  6. rockadelic

    rockadelic Forum Resident Thread Starter

  7. The Deacon

    The Deacon Well-Known Member

    Brian Mc, goodiesguy, uzn007 and 10 others like this.
  8. c-eling

    c-eling Love has no date of expiration...

    My Fathers go-to for everything :laugh:
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  9. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    Never trust a balm!
  10. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Yes, absolutely. The saving grace for me is that a lot of the records that I had in PVC sleeves were picture discs and "collectibles" (Like Lennon's Happy Xmas 12" on white vinyl) so that the damage is hard to see, and no one really wants to listen to those records anyway. Anything on black vinyl stored in those sleeves looks terrible.

    In the meantime, make sure you throw out all of those pink inner sleeves that were used by RTI (which has pressed for a number of audiophile labels in the last few years) - in that case, it's not a chemical reaction (or at least I don't think it is), but there's some sticky, oily crap on those sleeves that gets on the vinyl. Fortunately, it can be cleaned off.
    POGunter likes this.
  11. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Bag rash is not a result of record vinyl being stored in poly lined sleeves. I have hundreds of 1960's LPs in original poly-lined sleeves that are glossy and beautiful; both the liner and record. When I find 'bag rash' its pretty clear that there was some kind of 'catalyst' that interacted with the vinyl and/or the poly, likely something used to clean or dust the LP -- such as the advertised LP cleaning cloths (with 'secret' concoctions), soaps, hard water, and so on. Even heavy cigarette smoke doesn't appear to have triggered this effect.
  12. tdgrnwld

    tdgrnwld Forum Resident

    No, it's the vinyl's reaction to a particular kind of thick poly sleeve. I have some collectibles that have been ruined by the phenomenon described in the original post.
  13. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    PVC is still used for picture discs and other Record Store Day type releases, right? I also noticed that they were used for a recent series of "audiophile" LP's from Universal Music called the "Pure LP" series. Check out the packaging - all housed in a nice thick PVC sleeve.

  14. BurgerKing

    BurgerKing Forum Resident

    So-- something from the outer bag leaches through the jacket and inner bag, and ruins the LP??
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  15. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    That's correct. It has been documented, and I've seen it personally. I had a couple of albums in PVC outer sleeves that literally "bubbled" over the years, and when I checked the record inside, it was damaged. I then checked a few picture discs (where the disc is directly in contact with the PVC), and they were all damaged to some extent. I read somewhere that even storing an album next to one in a PVC outer sleeve can cause damage. Most people think it happens in storage at high temperature or high humidity, but I decided not to take any chances and have replaced all PVC outer sleeves and stored them away separately from the rest of my records.
    George C. and TLMusic like this.
  16. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    I've seen the effect on some newer records manufactured over the last decade or so - I agree that particular types of poly bags appear to be the culprit. Even so, it could just as well be something applied to the poly or used during production. Those pink-tinted thick poly liners mentioned above, used over the last several years, have a slightly 'oily' appearance thats visible when held to light without a record in them. Those I set aside.

    Overly broad & generalized assumptions about bag rash, and 'advice' to get rid of original inners do more damage than good. Its not a problem inherent to records per se but rather a problem with certain polyethylene ingredients, storage conditions, and cleaning methods. The other problem is the uninformed don't distinguish between poly and non poly based liners.
  17. What keeps the thick plastic jackets (vinyl or PVC) flexible is called plasticizer. Over time, the plasticizer leeches out of the jacket (making it less flexible) and if a record (which is also vinyl) is in contact with the cover, the plasticizer will start to migrate into the record. This will ruin the record over time and the damage cannot be reversed. I worked in the plastics industry for over thirty years and this is a common problem with flexible PVC. It is the same problem that you have in your car when a fog deposits on the inside of your windshield.
    marklamb, angelo73, Chris79 and 18 others like this.
  18. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    Links, please.
  19. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

  20. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Rick. Thanks for your post. That is very helpful. What baffles me is how a PVC outer sleeve can affect a record that has been stored inside a paper jacket and paper inner sleeve. My records that were in PVC outers were not damaged that badly, but there is a clouding or "mist", primarily in the dead wax, that does not come off (and I am sure it was not there originally).
    musictoad likes this.
  21. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    I don't know specifically about record sleeves, but PCV normally has phthalate esters added as a plasticizer. The plasticizer is volatile and not only is it a health hazard, but can also migrate into the LP, which is also made of PVC.
    freqazoidiac likes this.
  22. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Which, if I am correctly informed, California is now taking issue with in newly built cars- plasticizer leech. Dashboards and other interior elements must be made by some material that meets certain standards that don't 'off-gas' (if I am using the term correctly). Aren't the leeching and off-gassing part of the same process? (I'm not a chemist, which is why I'm asking). Thanks.
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  23. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Environment is a hugely important factor, not just for storing records but books, papers, artworks, film/pictures etc. Storing records out of poly is a 'best' practice, but don't freak out. I use audiophile anti-static sleeves (like the old VRP and more current MFSL type) and clean white paper sleeves, always keeping the original inner as an 'insert' and part of the original package. Keeping your collection in a temperature stable room inside the house will also reduce problems - as opposed to keeping it in a typical garage or similar un-regulated room.

    This is a form of outgassing which is well known in the archival / preservation field. For example; framed prints / artwork, the (relatively) sealed off environment the media resides in lies in proximity to the (slow but sure) breakdown or deterioration of the wood (the frame) around it, as well as things like matting (made of pulped wood or papers which are in contact with the media). Its why cedar drawers or chests are less kind to paper and cotton based textiles for long term storage. We can never eliminate the deterioration of elements, but can reduce or slow the effects, which is what archival work is all about. In short - the goal is to store 'things' within products & environment that are as inert and friendly as possible.

    Those horrible 'library' type PVC covers that age and deteriorate poorly....when you store an LP inside one, especially if it has a closing flap, the LP is like the artwork inside a frame, like smoking inside a house/room with the doors closed; an environment separate from the environment outside is created. As elements break down inside, the 'sealed' environment holds it all in.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  24. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Could be climate related.
  25. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    I have had some records that incurred the same phenomena that have never had those thick plastic covers. Could some of it be a result of the vinyl formulation itself?

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