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Re: [ARSCLIST] Tapes and Mold

I agree, except for one other part - after vacuuming down the tape with a
HEPA vacuum I treat both sides of the tape with a slightly moistened cotton
ball which has Hydrogen Peroxide on it.  Also, the flanges are to be treated
in this manner as well.  This means, putting the analog tape on to a new
reel which will have to be treated also once the tape goes back onto its
original reel.  The wearing of the mask IS extremely important, you do not
want to breathe in any spores as they are hazardous to your health.

Once we have done this we have a machine for taking off the remainder of the
mold, plus you can triage the tape at the same time (clean up old splices,
get rid of old glue and replace splices with archival grade splicing tape.

Hope this helps.


Marie O'Connell
Sound Archivist/Audio Engineer/Sound Consultant
3017 Nebraska Avenue
Santa Monica, CA, 90404
Ph: 310-453-1615
Fax: 310-453-1715
Mobile: 601-329-6911

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bertram Lyons
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007 7:02 AM
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Tapes and Mold

Steve -

Mold is a generic term for many specific types of fungus. Fungus spores
are present at all times in the air. For different species of fungus,
there is a unique set of envirnonmental conditions in which the spore
begins an "active" lifecycle and begins germination and, hence, a
colony. Mostly, the mold that affects cellulosic materials will be
happiest in a warm, dark, moist climate. If these right ingredients
exist, then the likelihood of fungal germination grows. Once the fungi
begin their "active" cycle, it is a difficult task to kill them without
the direct use of some harmful chemical. Since, no one wants to pour
hydrogen peroxide on their tapes, then the options become limited. The
saying is that you can inhibit or slow mold growth by following a few
steps, but the key is to develop a preventative storage environment -
low light, cool, medium to low relative humidity, good constant
ventilation, and free from potential water accumulation sources
(windows, pipes, etc.). 

Always wear gloves when working with potentially "moldy" materials. A
HEPA filtered mask is also useful to keep from inhaling the spores if
they are disturbed from the item and brushed into the air. A great
recommendation is to significantly cool the item (in a refrigerator),
then, using a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered vacuum,
vacuum the item. This will help to do away with as many spores as
possible from the item. If the item is physically sensitive, cover the
vacuum attachment with cotton cloth.

The most serious danger is if the storage environment becomes one that
allows the "sleeping" spores to become "active" again. Then they will
begin germinating and a colony will again develop.

That's my two cents.

Another good option would be for you to contact a consevator and ask
them their opinion. 

Good luck -

Bertram Lyons

Project Manager / Dissemination Coordinator
Association for Cultural Equity
Alan Lomax Archive
450 West 41st Street, Room 606
New York, NY 10036

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