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Subject: Air fresheners

Air fresheners

From: Ken Myers <kenmyers>
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001
I am searching for any information, studies, guidelines, advice that
may be available regarding the use of aerosol dispensed air
freshener, bathroom deodorizer, odor neutralizer products in areas
near to artifacts.

Immediately adjacent to our library/reading room which houses books,
photographs, and an assortment of manuscript collections is a
bathroom used by patrons and staff.  Owing to the fact that the
entire library is located within a historic building, ventilation of
the bathroom is poor.  Despite regular cleaning, odors are a
problem.  On considering the use of aerosol based
neutralizer/freshener products, a concern has been raised about any
negative effects to library collections on which airborne
particulates/chemicals introduced by the dispenser might settle
because of the close proximity of the bathroom to the collection.

There are any number of these type of products available today--what
we are talking about are the electronic dispenser units commonly
seen in bathrooms at restaurants, sports venues, shopping malls,
etc. into which an aerosol can is inserted for periodic short bursts
of product into the air.  Many product lines include a version of
their product with "low" V.O.C. levels intended for the California

Is this something we should be concerned about when using something
so close to library materials?, or are there other specific
substances commonly used in a product like this which should be
avoided?  Are products like these safe for use near to paper-based
artifacts?  Is there a specific "museum-safe" product line that
anyone can recommend?

As context, the rare book collection is probably less than fifteen
feet from the bathroom door.

Ken Myers
Director of Operations
Valentine Museum / Richmond History Center
1015 E. Clay Street
Richmond, VA  23219
804-649-0711 Ext. 320
Fax: 804-643-3510

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:55
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 19, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-55-021
Received on Wednesday, 18 April, 2001

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