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Subject: Latex and foam masks

Latex and foam masks

From: Jerry Shiner <info<-a>
Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014
Stephanie Antequino <santequino<-a t->planethollywoodintl< . >com> writes

>We have a large collection of latex and foam masks, many of which
>have begun to deteriorate. ...
>...  Somebody had told the staff to use cornstarch on the
>sticky masks to remove the residue.  Is this an accepted practice,
>or is there something else that can be done to help stabilize these
>items.  Also, we will be packing the masks in acid-free boxes, and
>will be using silicone release paper so that the masks don't get
>stuck to the box.  ...

I hope I am helpfully off-topic: I can't imagine that cleaning the
masks will substantially change or moderate the reaction that is
causing the residue to appear. However, keeping the masks in
oxygen-free atmospheres will likely slow or stop deterioration.
Using anoxic storage will necessitate changes in both your storage
procedures, and hopefully will free you from further challenges of
removing sticky residue (cornstarch sounds dicey to me).

Sealing and modifying a box containing one (or more) masks is not an
efficient use of materials. I would suggest that you consider
individually packing each mask (and mount) in a transparent Escal
barrier film bag, along with an appropriate amount of RP K type
oxygen absorber. A group of packaged masks could then be fitted into
a master box for shelf storage. The interior surface of
heat-sealable barrier films is usually "pure" LDPE (low density
polyethylene), so a silicone release sheet to prevent sticking is
probably a safe approach.

Jerry Shiner
Keepsafe Microclimate Systems
+1 416-703-4696

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:32
                Distributed: Thursday, February 20, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-32-004
Received on Sunday, 16 February, 2014

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