Its Causes and How to Reduce the Threat

What is mold?

What causes mold to grow?

Why is mold a problem?

How to combat mold:


If mold is discovered check to see if it is active (soft, fuzzy, smears easily) or dormant powdery, easy to wipe). If it is active and it is a single book consider withdrawing it from the collection. If it is dormant do the following:

Material is wet:

Material is dry:

Fumigation is no longer recommended for mold because fumigants are toxic to people, the residue remains on the object, and it does not prevent the mold from returning.

Always wear gloves and if possible coveralls or a lab coat. Wash hands after handling any object with mold or suspected to have mold.

If mold is discovered in large portions of the collection do not attempt to clean up without FIRST consulting a mycologist to determine if toxic molds are present.

Dartmouth College Library -- Preservation Services handouts/mold causes 6/96

For further information consult "The Invasion of the Giant Spore", SOLINET Preservation Program, Leaflet Number 5, Sandra Nyberg, November 1987.

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