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foxing (again)



In my never-ending quest to understand I would like to relate the
following for possible discussion:

Foxing:  a pH problem?

I have a copy of the _Short Stories of John Cheever_ and the dust jacket
is red with gold metallic printing.  I bought this volume used and it was
clean (relatively) when it arrived.

I live in an area where humidity runs above "average" (I am by the
Atlantic) and where dampness leads to foxing and worse infestations of
fungal growth.

        This however is the gist of my insight:  The foxing I have
experienced with the above title occurs exclusively on the dust jacket,
where tiny brownish specks (with a discernable mass, you can actually
scrape them with a spatula or x-acto knife) are amassing on the
underside, or plain paper side of the dust jacket.

        But get this: These specks of  foxing seems to congregate in
relation to the position of those letters stamped with a metallic (in
this case gold) finish.  This leads me to wonder if the alkaline nature
of metals has something to do with foxing, and whether highly alkaline
papers tend to fox more frequently and with greater propensity than
others.  Foxing is discriminatory, it happens to some but hardly all my
books and/or dust jackets; it has yet to occur on books printed on pH
neutral or "acid-free" paper.  Ergo, my inquiry.

My own study on the matter is on-going and lends itself to serendipity,
but I'd be interested to learn what others might have to say about this
hypothesis,  I am open to suggestions since the nature of foxing remains
enigmatic.

Humidity seems to precipitate the occurrence of foxing, my query rests in
simply ascertaining whether metallic or alkaline substances (such as lime
and phosphorus) used in the manufacture of paper and metallic finishes
doesn't contribute to the likelihood of  fungal growth in books.

Sincerely submitted,

Rommel John Miller              rjmiller1095@juno.com    410-213-0082
12544 Selsey Road                 rjmiller@beachin.net
Ocean City, MD  21842-9128


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