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Subject: Anoxia


From: Linda S. Roundhill <artsconservation<-a>
Date: Monday, January 6, 2014
Barbara Appelbaum <aandh<-a t->mindspring< . >com> writes

>Valerie Tomlinson <vtomlinson<-a t->aucklandmuseum< . >com> writes
>>At the Auckland War Memorial Museum we are also looking into getting
>>an anoxia treatment system for those objects that can't be frozen. I
>>would be interested in any information on systems and suppliers for
>>anoxia, especially southern hemisphere suppliers.
>Another alternative to freezing is heat:  130 deg F for a few hours.
>Since bedbugs have made many happy homes in New York City, many
>exterminators have machines that produce those temperatures, which
>allows disinfestation in the rooms where the collections are.

Whole-room pest eradication by heat might be a good route with a few

    Prolonged heating will tend to dry out wood, and other
    cellulosic or proteinaceous materials making them more likely to
    shrink and/or crack, though the potential for destruction by a
    highly active infestation may warrant it in some circumstances.

    Heat will also tend to cause expansion of metal objects and
    fittings, creating possible sources of stress.

    While bed-bugs might easily succumb to heat treatments, I
    imagine there are some larval species that can tolerate it,
    especially if embedded several inches down inside a solid wood
    artifact, so consulting museum pest control professionals as
    Barbara suggested is always appropriate.

    The accelerated ageing effect of heat on most organic materials,
    which often cannot be readily detected or calculated with
    accuracy, must be considered.  Probably not much of an issue for
    large, undecorated wood objects, but other materials in the
    room, such as natural fabrics, may be damaged at the molecular

As with freezing, chemicals and anoxia, there are drawbacks and
potential sources of damage to objects by all eradication processes,
if not chosen carefully or carried out correctly.  I just felt that
needed to be generally stated, even though it seems an obvious

Linda Roundhill
Art and Antiquities Conservation, LLC
Woodinville, WA

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:29
                Distributed: Saturday, January 11, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-29-001
Received on Monday, 6 January, 2014

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