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Subject: Sewage damage to mammal specimen

Sewage damage to mammal specimen

From: Peter Lundskow <plundskow>
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2004
Yesterday at our Museum we had a leak from an over head sewage line
in one of our collection storage areas.  This leak did not directly
strike the item but leaked on the surrounding Ethafoam and caused
saturation from below. The artifact is a mounted bison which is
positioned in a resting position. We would appreciate any advice
that can be offered in how to first reduce the moisture in a rapid
but safe/controlled manner.  Second, how to deal with the microbes
that may have gotten into the specimen and to reduce the
accompanying smell.  We have cleaned up the affected area of the
storage room and used fans to remove the localized smell. In a quick
scan of the Conservation DistList archives I found a reference to
irradiation in dealing with E. coli.

Our resources are a walk in freezer that can reach minus 20 degrees
and areas of the Museum at this time of year are very low humidity
(loading dock).  A concern was raised of ice crystals forming in
freezing which could damage the specimen.  Also, the Curator of this
item stated that because of the way it was originally treated it can
not be freeze dried.

Peter Lundskow
Chief Conservator
Indiana State Museum
650 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis IN 46204-2725

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:54
               Distributed: Wednesday, February 18, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-54-026
Received on Thursday, 5 February, 2004

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