What is vinegar syndrome ?

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Cellulose┬átriacetate film can decay, particularly if stored in warm and humid conditions. The decay process causes acetic acid to be produced, which is the primary ingredient of vinegar and produces the tell tale odour leading to the term “vinegar syndrome” . As the film degrades it can become very brittle and shatter if moved. Even unwinding the film can cause the film to break. The film base will also shrink, however the emulsion will not under go shrinkage as it is not deteriorating. This effect causes the film to buckle and distort as the two layers begin to separate. We recommend transferring your films as soon as you detect a hint of vinegar odour as they will have already started to deteriorate. It will only be a matter of time before they are lost forever.

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