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Subject: Synperonic N

Synperonic N

From: Dean and Chapter of Lincoln <carol>
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000
Elizabeth Wild <ewild [at] mov__vic__gov__au> writes

>I am a conservator in Australia. Synperonic N has not been banned
>here yet but our lab has decided not to use it anymore. I am trying
>to find out what other conservators are using and the results. Does
>anyone have any information about the recommended alternatives to
>Synperonic N: Synperonic A7 and Synperonic 91-6? Has anyone used
>and/or tested them? Where can the alternatives be purchased?

Good old Synperonic N and then there it was no longer or is it? I
have been aware of the ban of the non ionic surfactant Synperonic N
and NDB since March 1999, through an interesting article in the
Conservation News (UKIC) by V. Daniels of the British Museum.
Abinghurst, a large British chemical supplier seemed absolute
oblivious about the fact that it had been banned completely with the
start of the year 2000. Even as recent as three months after the
final date it is freely available in England. However, the whole
issue surrounding Synperonic N is very confusing since it is
apparently banned from disposal but not from use, or has it? There
seemed to be no accurate information available and if the suppliers
don't know what the score is what chance has the individual

Anyhow, after a long trawl literally extracting the information out
of the supplier which alternative they could suggest, the not so
convincing man on the other end of the phone reluctantly came up
with the product Nonidet P40. A non-ionic surfactant which will set
you back UKP38.00 for 100 ml. (I guess only Chanel No.5 is more

Personally this is a product, which I haven't come across yet, nor
do I know of any research done on it. So if anybody can come forward
with some information please let the rest of the conservation world

To round up the tale, not being entirely satisfied with the
suppliers suggestion, in the end we took a lead from a local
conservation unit and purchased Triton X-100, a biodegradable
non-ionic surfactant.

I suppose it depends very much for what kind of work; artefact and
surface you want to apply a given detergent.

For our proposes, being involved in stained glass conservation
Triton X-100 is adequate but perhaps Nonidet P40 is right for you.
But if all fails stick with a tried and tested product you know.

    **** Moderator's comments: See WAAC Newsletter
    <URL:http://sul2/waac/wn/wn17/wn17-1/wn17-103.html> for
    discussion of health/safety issues around Triton X-100

H. Tom Kupper
Lincoln Cathedral
Glazing Dept.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:48
                  Distributed: Friday, March 24, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-48-005
Received on Thursday, 16 March, 2000

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