Protection from Ultraviolet Light for Baseball Cards

Light provides energy which in turn causes the chemical reactions to occur that cause the deterioration of your baseball cards. Photochemical deterioration (photodegradation) is the process by which light energy is absorbed by the molecules within an object which can start a damaging sequence of chemical reactions.

There are three main types of light - visible, UV and infrared - which can all cause photodegradation. Visible light is the only type that is used for the actual display of your baseball cards. UV and infrared are not necessary and can be disregarded. UV light being the far more damaging should be blocked as much as possible.

The ultraviolet light of concern to your collectibles occupies a spectrum of wavelength from 295 to 325 nm (nanometre). Shorter wavelengths cause greater damage. For example, 305 nm is 22% as damaging as 295 nm, and 325 nm is 3% as damaging as 295 nm.

Types of UV light:
• UVC— The C range of the ultraviolet (UVC) solar spectrum, between 200 and 290 nm, is the most damaging. The ozone layer absorbs most UVC rays however, recent research indicates that the ozone layer may be depleted in certain areas creating additional vulnerability.
• UVB——Wavelengths in the B range of the ultraviolet (UVB) solar spectrum are measured between 290 and 320 nm.
• UVA——Wavelengths in the A range of the ultraviolet (UVA) solar spectrum are between 320 and 400 nm.

Read more about the following to protect your baseball cards from the damaging effect of UV light:
• Select display cases that use UV blocking museum glass
• Use lighting that minimizes UV emissions
• Manage the indirect UV light exposure to your vintage cards

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