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Subject: Soot and odour removal after a fire

Soot and odour removal after a fire

From: Nigel Seeley <nigel.seeley>
Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Gary Saretzky <saretzky [at] rci__rutgers__edu> writes

>Reni Teygeler <rene.teygeler [at] wxs__nl> writes
>>Does anyone have any experience in removing soot and the pungent
>>odour from monographs after they have been recovered from a fire?
>Since there are house fires daily, this is a very common problem
>dealt with by insurance companies who work with disaster recovery
>vendors.  Here in New Jersey, smoke-damaged books are often placed
>in an ozone chamber for treatment.   The odor is completely removed
>and there is no residue.  The process also kills any insects, etc.

Don't forget that this treatment only works because ozone is a
powerful oxidising agent, which degrades the odiferous compounds
present.   It has a similar, but of course undesirable, effect on
components of the books' paper, leather, adhesives, etc., and while
such treatment may be justified for some modern books as an
alternative to their destruction, due consideration should be given
to its use in a preservation context.

Nigel Seeley.
Dr. Nigel Seeley, The National Trust,
36, Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AS, UK.
+44 20 7447 6521

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:19
               Distributed: Thursday, September 12, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-19-004
Received on Tuesday, 10 September, 2002

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