Q.1028:  What is the life of paper?

Ans. Paper can last from 10 years to thousands of years depending on the material used to make paper and the condition of storage. Paper made from cotton fiber can last as long as cotton last. Treated or untreated cotton has lasted more than 5000 years (Cotton used to wrap mummies in ancient Egypt is still intact). Cellulose fiber last longer than lignin, so bleached paper will last longer. alkaline or neutral sized paper last longer than Acid sized paper.

Fine art papers that have no Optical Brightening Agents, that are acid-free, lignin-free, 100% cotton, and that are buffered (usually with a calcium carbonate reserve of about 1.5% - 2.0%) have an estimated life expectancy of 500 years or more (based on the American National Standards Institute and the American Society for Testing Materials).

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