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Subject: Publication on carbonyl pollution

Publication on carbonyl pollution

From: Lorraine Gibson <nwo>
Date: Friday, October 16, 1998
Carbonyl pollution - conference report

A 2 day conference entitled "Museum Pollution: Detection and
Mitigation of Carbonyls" was held at Strathclyde University on the
17-18 June 1998.  Over 30 delegates from the UK, the Netherlands,
Denmark, Canada and the US attended.  Several carbonyl pollution
(acetic acid, formic acid and formaldehyde) issues were discussed
and a number of actions were proposed.  The more important
conclusions and aspects drawn from the meeting are listed below.

    1.  To help gain a better understanding of the relationship
        between carbonyl pollutant concentration and artefact
        damage, a database is to be constructed to collate data from
        previous, and future, sampling experiments.  It will contain
        information from a) laboratory simulated experiments and b)
        phenomenological research.  Project participants include;
        The Netherlands Institute of Cultural Heritage (NICH), The
        Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), The Canadian
        Conservation Institute (CCI), The National Museums of
        Scotland (NMS), the British Museum (BM) the Victoria and
        Albert Museum (V&A), the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the
        Museum of London (MoL) the Universities of Strathclyde(UoS),
        East Anglia(UoEA), College London (UCL) and

    2.  One of the questions most asked by museums seeking advice
        about carbonyl pollution is which materials are safe to use
        for the construction of storage and display facilities.
        Various institutes and museums have their own recommended
        lists of materials and test results, however, there is no
        generally accessible list.  A second database is to be
        constructed and used to collate the information currently
        held by; the Building Research Establishment (BRE), BM, CCI,
        GCI, NICH, ROM, MoL, NMS and the V&A.  The proposed database
        will include post-1995 data and will be constantly updated
        with materials that have been deemed 'safe' for short-term
        and long-term use in proximity to susceptible artefacts.

    3.  Several researchers have agreed to develop standard
        operating protocols for acid and aldehyde vapour testing in
        museums.  This will take the form of simulated and field
        interlaboratory comparisons to ensure that the results
        obtained from the different sampling methods currently
        available are accurate.  Once validated, standard operating
        protocols will be devised and published for general use.

    4.  The conference participants have agreed to form a working
        group of conservators and scientists who will attempt to
        improve the current knowledge about the affects of carbonyl
        pollution.  This will include research surrounding detection
        and mitigation of carbonyl pollutants as well as attempting
        to correlate pollutant concentration with artefact damage.
        The core group leading the research are A Brokerhof (NICH),
        B Cooksey (UoS), L Gibson (NICH), C Grzywacz (GCI), F
        Ligterink (NICH) and S Watts (UOB).  The Netherlands
        Institute for Cultural Heritage have agreed to host the next
        meeting in Amsterdam.  It is currently planned to proceed
        the ICOM-CC '99 meeting in Lyon, France.  Information will
        follow in due course.

A summary of the conference is available and, in time, a document
will be prepared containing the conference presentation abstracts
and our future research plan.  Results of the on-going research will
be presented at the next meeting in '99.  If you are interested in
receiving further information, or indeed have information about
carbonyl pollution that you are willing to share with the group,
please contact:

    Dr Lorraine Gibson
    The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage
    Gabriel Metsustraat 8
    1071 EA Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    +31 20 3054 780
    Fax: +31 20 3054 700

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:37
                 Distributed: Friday, October 16, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-37-002
Received on Friday, 16 October, 1998

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