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Subject: PVA offgassing from matboard

PVA offgassing from matboard

From: Theresa Fairbanks-Harris <theresa.fairbanks-harris>
Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2004
On February 3, 2004 our department received a shipment of 100 sheets
of Rising 4-ply museum board, natural in color, cut into various
sizes from our distributor. The boards were sealed in plastic, 25
sheets to a package.  Before we even opened the packages, the staff
was aware of a new chemical smell in the matting room. When we
opened the packages the smell was much more apparent, and
concentrated between the sheets of board. After several days of
airing, the smell had not dissipated.  A call to the manufacturer
established that a PVA is used to laminate thin sheets together in
the factory to produce a thicker board. They suggested that possibly
the boards had not fully dried or aired before being shipped to the
distributor, and stated that the materials passed the PAT
(photographic activity test) and were guaranteed archival.

We would like to know if anyone else has received museum boards
emitting fumes in the last two years.  If so, did anyone did tests
on these materials themselves?  How long did it take for the smell
to dissipate?  Were there any problems observed with these boards
besides the nuisance odor?  On a related note, can anyone recommend
a favorite vendor for pre-cut mat boards in the northeastern United

Theresa Fairbanks-Harris
Chief Conservator
Yale Center for British Art

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:55
                Distributed: Thursday, February 19, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-55-013
Received on Wednesday, 18 February, 2004

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