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Subject: Pesticides


From: Carlos Dion de Melo Teles <dion>
Date: Monday, November 18, 2002
Paolo Recanati <consob [at] imj__org__il> writes

>Objects on loan or donated to our Museum may arrive from abroad with
>hungry termites, with paper eating silverfishes or just with their
>eggs, potentially contaminating other "clean" items. As a preventive
>measure, every single object (containing any kind of organic
>material) that enters our Museum, must spend some time in a
>"quarantine" room. Soon after, it is treated in a special sealed
>room with some chemicals such as Permetrin (sort of smoke) or in a
>"bubble" with Methyl Bromide or Phosphin (the latter not on metals)
>that can kill also eggs.

The 13th Triennial ICOM Meeting, held in Rio, has some interesting
articles about treatment without pesticides, including solar heat
treatment ("Solarization: A cheap but effective method to disinfest
museum objects" Agnes W. Brokerhof, <URL:>). In
this treatment the objects are placed within a plastic film tent,
under the sunlight. The heat of 55 deg. C generated should be enough
to eliminate wood attacking insects within one hour. Please refer to
the article to further details.

Gas treatment can also be done with inert gases, like Nitrogen, CO2
or Argon, which are not toxic and leave no traces (but no sustaining
effect also). You should check about their effects on metal or
metallic painting before the treatment.

Although I haven't read this book, you might find useful to check
the "Conservation of Historic Timber Structures, An ecological
approach" by Knut Einar Larsen, Nils Marstein  ($74.95)

Dion Teles
Conservation Eng., Brazil

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:34
                 Distributed: Friday, November 22, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-34-006
Received on Monday, 18 November, 2002

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