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Subject: Mold on musical instrument cases

Mold on musical instrument cases

From: Paul Storch <paul.storch>
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Sean Harrison inquired about what methods to use to clean surfaces
of musical instrument cases, and how to remove the odors associated
with the fungal infestations.  His isolation of the cases to a dry
area is definitely the first stage and the correct approach to take.
I have an article by Mary-Lou Florian on conidial fungi and
management of infestations that I published a few years ago in the
Leather Conservation News.  There are some useful suggestions in
that article, which I can send per requests off-list and
notification of your mailing address (not available electronically
or via fax at this time).

I'm sure that there will several differing opinions on how to go
about the cleaning, but I would suggest vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum
(e.g. Nilfisk GS-80).  The operator must be trained in safety
methods involved with handling fungus infested objects and have the
proper personal protective equipment required.  I would not suggest
using liquid-based fungicides, since the solvents used may cause
dyes to run or leave stains. Vapor phase fungicides, such as thymol,
have been shown to be relatively ineffective and are toxic to the
operator.  I would also recommend against ozone treatment due to the
dangers of causing irreversible changes by oxidation.  I think that
there has been previous discussion on this list of ozonolysis as a
treatment for smoke damaged materials, and I would be open to hear
any 'pro' arguments.  In cases such as this, there are
considerations of efficiency of the treatment, acceptable risk, and
cost containment, etc..

As for odor removal, I have suggested enclosing the object in a
chamber with powdered zeolites.  You can contact me directly for the
procedures, and look in the DistList archives for previous
discussion on this topic.  Hilary Kaplan may also have some
information on that subject as well.  Conservation Resources
International also carries box materials that contain zeolites and
activated charcoal that can be used to create enclosures for
long-term storage and odor containment. I hope that this has helped.

Paul S. Storch
Objects Conservator
Daniels Objects Conservation Laboratory (DOCL)
B-109.1, Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul, MN  55102-1906
Fax: 651-297-2967

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:82
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 22, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-82-008
Received on Wednesday, 21 April, 1999

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