Microfilm Vinegar Syndrome

Redox blemishing (Vinegar Syndrome)

Integra PaperLESS makes it easy to save your microfilm collection.

There’s been a neglected box of microfilm in your storage room since 1980 (beside that neglected box of tradeshow giveaways). Someone recently noticed it smells like french fries. That vinegar smell happens with microfilm deterioration. And that’s a big red flag warning smell you shouldn’t ignore. Redox Blemishing, or Vinegar Syndrome, is how deteriorating microfilm screams for attention. And the screaming doesn’t stop until the microfilm is dead. Vinegar Syndrome spreads fast—like cancer for microfilm. If you don’t act immediately, all your information on microfilm will be lost. It’s time to invest in digital data retrieval when microfilm cancer happens. 

What causes Vinegar Syndrome and the irrevocable destruction to your microfilm?

• Nitrate film, Acetate-based film (cellulose), or Polyester degradation
• Temperature of storage conditions
• Humid conditions/moisture
• Exposure of film
• Silver corrosion

Cancerous microfilm can’t be reversed, but you can contain what’s left of it and you can pull data from what you salvage. 

       (free consultation)


• 100 years: That’s the life expectancy of nitrate and acetate microfilm (used before 1980).

• 500 years: The life expectancy of the more stable polyester microfilm (post 1980)

• It’s not just the smell of vinegar (acetic acid), you may also see red, pink, or orange dots with Vinegar Syndrome.