Carbonyl Pollution - Conference Report
A two day conference entitled Museum Pollution : Detection and Mitigation of Carbonyls was held at Strathclyde University on the 17-18 June 1998. Over 30 delegates from the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada and the US attended. Several carbonyl pollution (acetic acid, formic acid and formaldehyde) issues were discussed and a number of actions were proposed. The more important conclusions and aspects drawn from the meeting are listed below :
A summary of the conference is available and, in time,
a document will be prepared containing the conference presentation abstracts and our future research plan. Results of the on-going research will be presented at the next meeting in '99. If you are interested in receiving further information, or indeed have information about carbonyl pollution that you are willing to share with the group, please contact:
- To help gain a better understanding of the relationship between carbonyl pollutant concentration and artefact damage, a database is to be constructed to collate data from previous, and future, sampling experiments. It will contain information from a) laboratory simulated experiments and b) phenomenological research. Project participants include; The Netherlands Institute of Cultural Heritage (NICH), The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), The National Museums of Scotland (NMS), the British Museum (BM) the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Museum of London (MoL) the Universities of Strathclyde(UoS), East Anglia(UoEA), College London (UCL) and Oxford-Brookes(UOB).
- One of the questions most asked by museums seeking advice about carbonyl pollution is which materials are safe to use for the construction of storage and display facilities. Various institutes and museums have their own recommended lists of materials and test results,
however, there is no generally accessible list. A second database is to be constructed and used to collate the information currently held by; the Building Research Establishment (BRE), BM, CCI, GCI, NICH, ROM, MoL, NMS and the V&A. The proposed database will include post-1995 data and will be constantly updated with materials that have been deemed 'safe' for short-term and long-term use in proximity to susceptible artefacts.
- Several researchers have agreed to develop standard operating protocols for acid and aldehyde vapour testing in museums. This will take the form of simulated and field interlaboratory comparisons to ensure that the results obtained from the different sampling methods currently available are accurate. Once validated, standard operating protocols will be devised and published for general use.
- The conference participants have agreed to form a working group of conservators and scientists who will attempt to improve the current knowledge about the affects of carbonyl pollution. This will include research surrounding detection and mitigation of carbonyl pollutants as well as attempting to correlate pollutant concentration with artefact
damage. The core group leading the research are A Brokerhof (NICH), B Cooksey (UoS), L Gibson (NICH), C Grzywacz (GCI), F Ligterink (NICH) and S Watts (UOB).
The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage have agreed to host the next meeting in Amsterdam. It is currently planne to proceed the ICOM-CC '99 meeting in Lyon, France. Information will follow in due course.
The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage
Gabriel Metsustraat 8
1071 EA Amsterdam
tele : + 020 3054 780
fax : + 020 3054 700
Text as mailed on the Conservation Research
Discussion List, 19th October, 1998.
Index of presentations at IAP 1998 meeting
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