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I have several masks going back many years and I have a question regarding the clear silicone types. Most of my black rubber, non silicone masks are still useable save for a few that have just gotten dry rot, oh well, nothing is forever I guess, but I also have several silicone masks and they have taken on a yellowish tint to various degrees. They still seem soft and pliable and fully functional save for the yellowing whcih really hurts nothing. Is this a normal aging process and is there any way to prevent it or even reverse it??
Oh, I just bought a new Mares X vision and yes it is a nice mask with low volume and excellent vision. N
I actually believe the yellowing is a reaction to light, I assume UV rays. If you look at snorkels that have been displayed for a while in a shop, the silicone often looks yellow. AFAIK it will not be a problem. I've had masks and snorkels that were yellowed and did not have any problems diving with them. Also seen a lot of people use them with no problems.
I'm thinking that the yellowing might be caused by contact with sunscreens. I have clothing articles and other equipment stained by sunscreens. Many chemicals will yellow "plastic" and silicon products. Just ask pilots if they use certain chems on their lexan windows.
The cynical side of me wonders if it's something the manufacturers do with the silicone to give less knowledgeable divers an incentive to buy a new mask every five years. The yellowing is a bit unsightly but I don't believe it affects the functionality in the least. I still wear the same Sherwood mask I've used since I got certified, silicone yellowed and not quite as clear as it once was, and the most I can complain about is that I still haven't found a foolproof defog. :P