The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 6
Sep 1988


GPO Gets Paper Permanence Specs

An interim specification, pending full approval by the Committee on Paper Specifications, was made available to U.S. government agencies and the Government Printing Office on May 19. It contains all the specifications for permanence that are in the ANSI standard (Z39.48-1984), relating to pH, groundwood-free pulp stock, 2% calcium carbonate, folding endurance and tear. Like the other government specifications, it also specifies opacity, thickness, curl, surface, size and trim, and color, finish, formation and cleanliness. Unlike the ANSI standard, it mentions magnesium carbonate as an alternative to calcium carbonate (does anyone know of a paper mill that has ever used magnesium carbonate as a filler?), and does not require the use of a statement of compliance. It says:

Sample requirement: Pre-award testing of paper is required. Conformance to these requirements will permit the printing of the infinity symbol (infinity) in the publication, which is explained in the "Statement and Symbol of Compliance" paragraph of the ANSI standard Z39.48-1984.

It also does not require the use of permanent paper for any particular type of publications:

Use information: This paragraph is informational only and is not exclusively definitive of the end use.

For face and back offset printing of books, pamphlets, etc. requiring permanence (archival quality). Printed matter may include text, line illustrations, halftones up to 150-line screen.

It does spell out the method for back-titrating to find the percent calcium carbonate, whereas the ANSI standard merely refers to it; but it misspells adsorb as "absorb," probably because it is a word that has not appeared in the government standards for paper before.

The paragraphs on "Use information," by the way, are typical of all the other government standards, in that no particular end use is mandated.

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