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Subject: Arsenic in natural history collections

Arsenic in natural history collections

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Jeffory Morris <jmorris [at] pilgrim-monument__org>

>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.

We held a conference at San Francisco State University on the
subject of Pesticides on Native American artifacts last fall.  The
problems of identifying the pesticides on collections and removing
and handling/storing were all discussed by a number of museum
professionals and Native American representatives of tribes.  The
recommendations of the conference and a bibliography can be found at

There will be another conference in San Francisco this April put on
by the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
which will also discuss the problem.  You might also contact the
Arizona State Museum and talk to Dr. Nancy Odegaard who has been
conducting research on this, or Catharine Hawks or Kathy Makos at
the Smithsonian.

Niccolo Caldararo
Dept of Anthropology
San Francisco State University

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:51
                  Distributed: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-51-007
Received on Tuesday, 27 March, 2001

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