Hey guys! I'm (mostly) back from extended leave! College apps have been going nuts, and... well, yeah. Not much more to say on that. But with the season pretty much over for that, I at last have more leisure time to get back into my hobbies, like LEGO.
And this would be where my problem arose. Whilst fixing the display shelves with my 01-03 collection in my room, I noticed something... troubling. Basically all of my black rubber bands had decayed and snapped on many of my sets- the nui rama, nui jaga, the Muaka and Kane Ra... the bands had all either frayed extremely to the point that I fear so much as touching them will cause them to snap, or already snapped entirely. I found a (decent, but still pricey) deal on bricklink to get them replaced, but I don't want this to happen again and don't know what has caused this decay.
For starters, sun exposure isn't an issue- they are in a cool, dark place on the shelves in the corner of my room. They get little to no sun exposure (for the sake of preventing the yellowing of my 01-03 white pieces), are well maintained and dusted off frequently, and not exposed to water. Furthermore, I live in Colorado- so just standard humidity is not an issue.
Anyone have experience with this, and maybe a solution? I would rather keep my sets as original as possible (using none of the newer white bands, which are my temporary fix to keep sets like Muaka & Kane Ra together), but don't know how to go about this. Thanks for the help!
Tl;Dr- My rubber bands are all snapping, but only the old black ones. How can this be prevented, and what are causes of it? I've never had this problem before and would greatly like to prevent it.