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Subject: Sterilization


From: Valery Monahan <valery.monahan>
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2002
In my previous comment (Conservation DistList Instance: 15:63
Tuesday, March 19, 2002) about using cooking methods to sterilize
soil for exhibit use, I suggested a microwave as a possible option.
A colleague has pointed out that if the soil in question contained
small amounts of metal, microwaving could be dangerous. I borrowed
the microwave idea from a home-gardening internet site and never
considered the possibility of metal in the soil. I expect the site
was written with commercial potting soil in mind so the originators
may not have considered the metal factor either. If anyone on the
distlist knows a good reason why metal particles in soil wouldn't
explode in a microwave, please come forward.

In the meantime, unless you are using commercial potting soil that
you can guarantee is metal-free, please stick to a conventional oven
or the sun for cooking your soil.

Valery Monahan
Heritage Branch
Dept. of Tourism
Government of Yukon
Fax: 867-667-5377

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:66
                 Distributed: Thursday, March 28, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-66-003
Received on Wednesday, 27 March, 2002

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