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Subject: Solvents and film

Solvents and film

From: Miguel Loureco <miguelaiginha>
Date: Sunday, January 7, 2001
I'm dealing with a problem about the use of solvents in photographic
films, and I guess I need some help. In generic photograph
conservation books I just found references of 2 solvents for use in
films: trichloroethylene (C2HCl3) and trichloroethane (C2H3Cl3). The
books say that they are appropriate in the eliminating of some
resins, grease, insects dirt and fungus, but I didn't find any
justification about the actions of these solvents in photographic

I read about the use of solvents in conservation treatments: for
example, L. Masschelein Kleiner. Les Solvents, Bruxelles, 1991); it
was good for understanding the general properties of solvents, and
what type of dirt they solubilize, but much of the information about
their action, retention,etc., refers to painting materials. I didn't
find clear answers to these questions: What do they do to fungus?
How long does it take to evaporate, after the use of these two
solvents on films, before putting the negatives in paper envelopes
and storing them?

These two halogenated solvents are very dangerous to our health,
they contain CFC's which is bad for the environment and because of
that they are also being withdrawn from the market, especially
trichloroethane which is very difficult to find and also very

So the big question is about finding other options, if there are
other good solvents, with as little toxicity as possible, for use in
film cleaning?

I would be grateful if you could, in any way, advise me on this
matter or give some references on where to look.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:37
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 9, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-37-025
Received on Sunday, 7 January, 2001

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