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Subject: Jet fuel

Jet fuel

From: Laura Downey <lldowney>
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001
In the absence of Nancy Odegaard, I sometimes field inquiries from
archaeological sites in Arizona. Recently I was asked how to deal
with a site which has been accidentally soaked in jet fuel. It was a
surface site, and a fuel tank accidentally tipped over onto it, more
than a year ago (I have no more details on the event). The
archaeologists are aware of the potential health hazards and are
taking precautions against skin contact and inhalation. They say
that the main component of the fuel was kerosene. They expect most
of that has evaporated by now, however some of the artifacts still
carry an odor and test positive for volatile organics (I don't know
how they are testing them). The artifacts are mainly ceramics,
lithics, and some bone.

It seems there must be other components to the fuel, which have not
evaporated. Does anyone out there have an idea what this component
might be, and/or suggest a solvent (preferably low toxicity) that
they could try to use for removal or reduction of  the residual
fuel? Any other ideas?

Laura Downey
Assistant Conservator
Arizona State Museum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:49
                  Distributed: Friday, March 23, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-49-013
Received on Thursday, 15 March, 2001

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