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Subject: Microfilm


From: Charles Stewart <cstewart>
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2002
On behalf of Mary-Ellen Badeau,
Leslie McDougall <leslie.mcdougall [at] gnb__ca> writes
Subject: Microfilm

>    Does anyone know of Kodak Imagelink HQ 35mm Microfilm having a
>    sweet smell after being processed with ready to use solution of
>    Kodak Prostar Plus Developer and Kodak Prostar Plus Fixer?
>    Does anyone know how microfilm would be affected, if it had been
>    handled by someone who had aftershave/cologne on their hands?

The only noticeable odors I've ever detected in processed silver
microfilm are acid or vinegar-like smells, which may be produced by
deterioration of older, cellulose acetate film bases, after a decade
or more in storage and (2) some acrid, difficult-to-describe smells
which I associate with outgassing of unstable plastics used in some
types of film reels.

It sounds as though you've identified the source of the odor
yourself, in that you suspect it involves a fragrance worn by a
technician.  I don't know of any study that addresses such a
problem, but I can't imagine the vapors from the material could be
*good* for the film.  Have the person desist from wearing the
cologne/aftershave.  The use of gloves in film handling is also
indicated, however editing gloves do breathe, so that in itself is
not a solution.

The only other thing I might suggest would be finding a clean
environment in which to allow the film to air out before committing
it to a closed environment (film box, etc.), and before storing it
with other, uncontaminated films.  If there's no evidence of the
person having pawed the film emulsion, then touching the film edges
or proximity alone may have left you essentially with just the
problem of the fumes, rather than a truly contaminated emulsion.
Rewashing the film may also give some piece of mind and get rid of
the smell.

Chas. Stewart
Senior Photographer
Library Photo Service,
UC Berkeley

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:73
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 24, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-73-003
Received on Wednesday, 24 April, 2002

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