Scrapbook Pages with Mildew

Dear Donia,
Can I still use scrapbook refill pages that may have mildew?


Q. Dear Donia,

I purchased a set of Pioneer scrapbook refill pages from Goodwill. When I got home and took them out of unsealed packaging, I noticed that both the sleeve and the paper had a mildew smell to them. Does this now make them unsafe to use? Thanks, Lorraine

A. Dear Lorraine,

Because these pages are not actual personal items that you want to preserve, I would not use them and purchase new pages that do not have the mildew odor. This odor is very pervasive and will spread to any items you put in the scrapbook. Also, if there is the mildew odor, the pages have been exposed to high humidity and there could be dormant mold spores that could begin to grow when a humid environment returned.
In terms of mold and mildew, I prefer to err on the side of caution.
Thanks for asking!