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International Standard guides proper care of optical discs.

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December 10, 2008 - Developed by ISO Technical Committee 42, ISO 18938:2008 provides guidelines for care and handling of digital optical discs to preserve access to recorded data and to maximize disc lifespan. Standard covers use and handling environments, including pollutants, temperature, and humidity; contamination concerns; inspection; cleaning and maintenance; transportation; disasters, including water, fire, and construction; and post-disaster procedures.

New International Standard Guides Proper Care of Optical Discs

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American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
11 West 42nd St., 13th Flr.
New York, NY, 10036

Press release date: December 4, 2008

With everything from family photos and videos to key documents in the workplace being stored on optical discs, the preservation of these media is crucial. A new standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides guidelines for the care and handling of digital optical discs to maximize their lifespan.

Optical discs, including compact discs (CD), digital versatile discs (DVD), high definition digital versatile discs (HD DVD), and Blu-ray discs (BD), are popular choices for recording and storing information. Widely available, compact, and easy to copy and share, these discs have many advantages in the home and office. However, improper storage and handling can reduce their life expectancy, leading to lost information and inaccessible files.

ISO 18938:2008, Imaging materials - Optical discs - Care and handling for extended storage, addresses the issues of physical integrity of the disc necessary to preserve access to recorded data, including:

-use and handling environments, including pollutants, temperature and humidity and light exposure;
-contamination concerns;
-cleaning and maintenance, including cleaning methods and frequency;
-disasters, including water, fire, construction and post-disaster procedures; and staff training.

ISO 18938:2008 was developed by Technical Committee (TC) 42, Photography. The U.S. holds the chairmanship and the secretariat of TC 42. Kenneth Parulski of the Eastman Kodak Company serves as chairman, and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has delegated secretariat duties to the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A). An ANSI member and accredited standards developer, I3A also serves as the ANSI-accredited Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to TC 42.

For more information, see the ISO news release.

How long will a DVD last?

Another standard developed by ISO, ISO/IEC 10955: 2008: Information technology -- Digitally recorded media for information interchange and storage -- Test method for the estimation of the archival lifetime of optical media, addresses a method for estimating the useful life of DVDs. [see related article]
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