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Subject: Arsenic in natural history collections

Arsenic in natural history collections

From: Jeffory Morris <jmorris>
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2001
Recently I contracted with an Industrial Hygiene Service to test ten
specimens from our Museum's arctic natural history collection (i.e.
2 Polar bears, walrus, musk ox, white wolf).  The tests found
significant concentrations of arsenic in the dust collected from all
sampled specimens.

In order to save this valuable collection, I am now interested in
contacting conservators who would be able to clean  our collection
using HEPA vacuum systems.  Can anyone recommend a firm located
within Massachusetts/New England? (I know that the items will never
be completely arsenic-free.)  Are there better conservation
procedures?

Also I would like to create a report stating the risks and needed
handling guidelines for the curatorial staff.  I have OSHA's
requirements (29CFR1910.1018(o)) but would like to review other
museum's policies and procedures in order to inform staff  about the
risks of arsenic exposure. Any assistance is greatly appreciated,

Jeffory Morris
Curator
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
P.O. Box 1125, High Pole Hill
Provincetown MA 02657-1125
508-487-1310
Fax: 508-487-4702



                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:49
                  Distributed: Friday, March 23, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-49-016
                                  ***
Received on Thursday, 22 March, 2001

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