The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 05, Number 5
Nov 1992


Popularity of Infinity Sign for Permanence Grows

The sign for infinity infinity, set in a circle, is a trademark of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), intended to mean that paper bearing this sign meets the ANSI/NISO standard for permanence. It is used increasingly by publishers to indicate that their books are printed on paper meeting the standard, and papermakers are encouraged by NISO to mark any product that meets the standard with the sign.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has an appendix in the current draft for its standard, "Information and Documentation-Paper for Documents-Requirements for Permanence," that also designates the infinity sign in a circle as a symbol of compliance, but with the number of the standard beneath it: "ISO 9706."

There is still no symbol for alkaline paper. We may not need a symbol, because the word "alkaline" or "neutral" could be used, either abbreviated or spelled out, for papers that do not meet permanence standards.

Environmental Enhancement in Maine and California

New Government Paper Specification Standards

In June the joint Committee on Printing (which sets the paper standards for the federal government) mailed out a list of 38 new and revised standards. The ones that called for a minimum pH of 6.0 (by cold extraction) are:

pH ICP # Type of Paper
7.0 A25 Heat-Set Web Offset Machine-Finish Book
7.0 A61 No. 1 Offset Book, Smooth-Finish
6.5 A181 No. 1 Coated Text, Gloss-Finish
6.5 A182 No. 2 Coated Text, Gloss-Finish
6.5 A240 Matte Coated Offset Book
6.5 A261 No. 1 Coated Text, Dull-Finish
6.5 A262 No. 2 Coated Text, Dull-Finish
7.5 A270 Uncoated Permanent Book, White & Cream White
6.5 A460 Offset Book (50% recycled, 10% postconsumer)
7.0 A560 Offset Book (Alkaline)
6.5 G460 Recycled 25% Opacified Bond (75% recovered material, 10% postconsumer)
7.5 H30 Imitation Parchment, Laser-Finish, White, Natural and Colored
6.5 Lll No. 1 Coated Cover, Gloss-Finish
6.5 L12 No. 2 Coated Cover, Gloss-Finish
6.5 L61 No. 1 Coated Cover, Dull-Finish
6.5 L62 No. 2 Coated Cover, Dull-Finish
7.0 0-560) Plain Copier, Xerographic (Alkaline), White and Colored (Qualified Products

The pH requirement is automatically waived for A61 and H30 "if permanence is not a factor for the paper's intended end use." Only the pH of the coating is specified for A240, A261, A262, L11, L12, L61 and L62. No alkaline reserve is required for any type of paper but A270, A560, H30, and 0-560. These new standards represent progress, but cannot be seen as evidence that the federal government is taking a leadership position in the implementation of the permanent paper law, PL 101423. One would think that three-quarters of the JCP's standards would call for alkaline paper, if not permanent paper, since three-quarters of all freesheet produced in this country is alkaline; but only a tiny minority of the 100 or so standards in the book do this.

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