I was asked a question by one of our members about the safety of using the chipboard from cereal boxes in scrapbooks (for shapes, album covers, alphabets, etc.). In answer to her question I need to start by saying that two years ago I was told by an owner of a reputable scrapbooking paper company that all chipboard contained acid and that scrapbookers should use it at their own risk (their products did not state "acid-free" or "lignin-free on the packaging at that time). That being said, let it be noted that "acid free" chipboard is now available and that's what I
use for self-made embellishments and for some of my album covers that I want to be absolutely acid-free. I think it's safe to say if a description or the packaging of a product doesn't state "acid-free, lignin-free, etc. it might not be though I would call the company (or go to their website) and ask if you want to know for sure.
About cereal boxes...I did a crude experiment on my Kashi cereal boxes with my pH testing pen and found the inside of the boxes to be in the purple "safe" zone. I don't know about the the ink that was used on the outside of the boxes but they all showed up in the "blue" or "safe" zone too in most cases. My General Mills boxes and off-brand pancake mix boxes weren't safe at all.
I use my pH testing pen on a regular basis. Hope this post can help someone with a similar question.
Jill Davis, founder