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Storing books in the correct ranges of temperature and humidity will prevent the growth of mold. However, mold spores are always present in the air and in the dust that settles on books; and, if the recommended conditions are not maintained, the danger of mold growth and damage to documents exists.
A relative humidity of 70% combined with high temperatures encourages the growth of mold or mildew, although some molds will grow at temperatures as low as 40- degrees Fahrenheit if the humidity is high.
Stagnant air conditions also favor mold or mildew attacks. Once started, mold is difficult to control and serious damage may occur before the condition is detected; prevention is far easier than correction.
The environment should be monitored on a regular basis to avoid the conditions favoring the growth of mold. In the initial stages, mold growth may be little more than a nuisance. The visible evidence can be brushed away, and the item can be stored under recommended conditions without further concern. In later stages, mold will digest the material upon which it grows, resulting in staining (foxing) and loss of strength of the material.