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Subject: Arsenic in natural history collections

Arsenic in natural history collections

From: Monika Akerlund <monika.akerlund>
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 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 in PRE-MAL (Pest Research, Education--Museum Archives and
Libraries) are informing on pest control including health hazards.

We arrange courses and symposia have written books on the subject
and are now working on a documentation system for quality assurance.

In our information on health hazards we deal not only with
pesticides and arsenic but also with other chemicals used in
museums. The total exposure of the person is important. We talk
about the risks of each chemical and how to protect one self in
order to work safely. That enclosed hazards for humans and
environmental risks--preventive and acute measures. The importance
of documentation is emphasised. If there is a suspicion that a
person has been exposed to too much arsenic (or another chemical) we
recommend him/her to contact the occupational health service.

Monika Akerlund
B.Sc.
Secretary of PRE-MAL
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Department of Regional Activities
P.O.Box 50007
SE-104 05 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 519 542 01
Fax: +46 8 519 540 85


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:52
                   Distributed: Friday, April 6, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-52-003
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 4 April, 2001

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