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Subject: Brief book review

Brief book review

From: Karen Motylewski <nedcc>
Date: Wednesday, December 22, 1993
I'm very impressed with Joanna G. Wellheiser's latest book, "Nonchemical
Treatment Processes for Disinfestation of Insects and Fungi in Library
Collections," IFLA Publications 60, 118 pp. (via K.G. Saur), 1992.  I
don't know how widely useful it is, and at $45 for 118 "pocket-book"
size pages it's pretty pricey (print is small), but it appears to be a
very thorough survey of the conservation literature through 1992.  It
reviews toxicity and conservation implications of commonly used
chemicals (Ethylene oxide (ETO), cyanide, methyl bromide, o-phenyl
phenol (opp) and thymol, phosphine, Vikane, Dichlorvos,
paradichlorobenzene, carbon tetrachloride, and napthalene). It confirms
that none other than ETO is significantly effective in fungi treatment,
and that the toxicity of all chemical treatments makes alternatives
highly desirable. It summarizes the evidence in the conservation
literature for answers to several nagging questions I've had for years
(e.g. does anyone really know about the "half-life" of ETO in library
materials?--No, but there is evidence of toxic residuals in plastics and
leather, and it is difficult or impossible to get good measures of ETO
at current TLVs).

It goes on to evaluate freezing, microwaves (Do they or don't they kill
mold?--No, but the French are still researching it), gamma radiation,
and modified atmospheres.  There's no excess language, just simple,
concrete statements of the literature and current status of the
technique, including unknowns, ongoing research, and concerns. This is
not a how-to, but for anyone trying to convince administrators (or
anyone else, for that matter) that IPM and prevention are the only
responsible route, it's a godsend.

Karen Motylewski
Northeast Document Center

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:46
                Distributed: Thursday, December 23, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-46-004
Received on Wednesday, 22 December, 1993

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