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Subject: Argon gas and photographic processes

Argon gas and photographic processes

From: Charlotte Payne <clpayne>
Date: Friday, August 2, 1991
Here is, verbatim, the letter I received from James Druzik:

With regards to the argon treatment of books -- there is no known risk,
or theoretical reason to suspect, that this might have an effect on any
photographic process by itself.  However, argon like nitrogen (the only
inert gas we have researched), works because it "suffocates" the pest in
question.  This means the virtual elimination of all oxygen with a pure
bottled gas.  The only potential risk I see might be associated with
photographs drying out and curling during the process; since bottled gas
is free of all water vapor.  This should be eliminated by conditioning
the gas flow with added moisture.  Since we don't have experience with
argon, I can't make any specific recommendations, but a series of
observational tests should be performed on selected photographic
processes before any widespread application is tried.

The Getty Conservation Institute shall be making available its research
on nitrogen pest control, where we have solved this problem by
humidifying half half the nitrogen flow and recombining it with the
other half, producing a 50% relative humidity mixture.  The historian at
Yosemite National Park may wish to contact me directly about this when
it becomes available in the Fall.

That's the end of the letter.  Thanks for giving me his name.

Charlotte Payne
Preservation Department
Shields Library
clpayne [at] octavo__ucdavis__edu

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:13
                  Distributed: Sunday, August 4, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-13-002
Received on Friday, 2 August, 1991

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