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Subject: Magic Rub erasers

Magic Rub erasers

From: Brenda Bernier <bernier3<-at->
Date: Monday, March 2, 2009
Carol Wickenhiser-Schaudt <watercolorist [at] schaudt__us> writes

>I use Magic Rub erasers ...
>...  Can anyone tell me
>if there will be future damage to my paintings and drawings due to
>using the erasers?

Magic Rub erasers are a type of poly vinyl chloride (PVC) eraser.
Previous research on PVC erasers indicated that they have a large
percentage of phthalate plasticizer, which is likely to be what
interacted with your pencil box (#6 plastic - polystyrene).
Unfortunately I'm not aware of research that quantifies the amount
of plasticizer left on paper after using the eraser. If there are
any residuals left on the paper it would likely be plasticizer or
perhaps hydrogen chloride--the acidity of which may be neutralized
by the calcium carbonate in the eraser. This means it is chemically
better than sulfur-containing rubber erasers.

Photographic Activity Tests (PATs) run on material treated with PVC
erasers showed very good aging, with no negative effects from the
PVC. That being said, conservators have been using PVC erasers,
including Magic Rub, for surface cleaning for quite some time. If
you have not observed any immediate problems with the eraser such as
abrasion or changes in gloss, then that's also good in terms of
eraser choice.

Brenda Bernier
Paul M. and Harriet L. Weissman Senior Photograph Conservator
Harvard University Library

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:50
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 3, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-50-007
Received on Monday, 2 March, 2009

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