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Subject: Paper coated with red lead

Paper coated with red lead

From: Helena Jaeschke <mrshjaeschke>
Date: Thursday, May 7, 1998
Peng-Peng Wang <ppwang [at] ix__netcom__com> writes

>People questioned the safety of handling this red lead treated
>paper. I looked at all the publications at hand and found nothing
>mentioned about the toxicity of red lead.

Items which have even small amounts of lead compounds should be
considered as hazardous and adequate protection should be provided.
Lead compounds are known to be absorbed by ingestion (through the
mouth) and inhalation. Some may also be carried through the skin by
other substances, such as PEG. Considering the common habit of
licking one's finger when turning the page, it would seem sensible
to provide readers with plastic gloves when handling  books with red
lead on the pages.

Was the practice of gilding or tinting the edges of bound books in
Europe also intended to provide a protection against insect attack?

Richard and Helena Jaeschke
Archaeological conservators

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:92
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 14, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-92-008
Received on Thursday, 7 May, 1998

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