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Old sound tracks

While we're on the subject of old sound materials, I'd like to ask about
ageing magnetic film that gives off that wonderful vinegar odor. I once heard
this "vinegar syndrome" referred to as an airborne virus. When opening these
old cans of mag in the machine room, is there any danger of spreading
something that can affect other film or sound elements (or people, for that
matter) that are in close proximity?  Also, on occasion these mag reels can
be a bit powdery. Is it viable to run them through the film cleaner? I have
often pondered doing this, but haven't quite had the nerve. 

David Bernstein
The Post Group West

           Thanks to Lipsner-Smith for support in 1997

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