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Subject: Laser cleaning and hazards

Laser cleaning and hazards

From: Martin Cooper <martin.cooper>
Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Alayne Alvis <aalvis [at] museum__vic__gov__au> writes

>I am following up on some comments made at a not-so-recent AICCM
>meeting in Melbourne (Australia) about possible harmful materials
>generated by laser ablation in the process of cleaning objects. I
>understand that there was reference made to this problem at the 2nd
>LACONA conference in Liverpool, but I am yet to track down a copy of
>the proceedings. Any information about published material on this
>subject would be appreciated.

Laser cleaning generates particles (and possibly vapours) of various
sizes, some of which may be hazardous if breathed in over an
extended period of time. If you think about what makes up a typical
pollution crust, for example, then it becomes clear that the waste
material generated by cleaning such a surface is best not inhaled.
We strongly recommend extracting the debris at source in addition to
wearing a face mask that is suitable for both particles and vapours
(it is highly likely that not all of the waste material will be
extracted under typical working conditions).  The composition of the
waste material and its particle size distribution will depend on
what is being cleaned and how the laser cleaning is carried out.

Unfortunately, the proceedings to the Lacona II conference were
never published.

Martin Cooper
Conservation Technologies
The Conservation Centre
National Museums Liverpool
Liverpool L1 6HZ
+44 151 478 4904
Fax: +44 151 478 4810

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:54
                    Distributed: Friday, May 5, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-54-001
Received on Tuesday, 2 May, 2006

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