A process to update the Indoor Air Quality standards for museums and archives was started two years ago at the Canadian Conservation Institute. The existing list of pollutants and the approach to developing the standards was revised. New pollutants, especially those generated indoors, have been added.
The "Best Knowledge" approach is used as the primary concept instead of the "Best Technology" approach. During the last decade, museum surveys and laboratory research have generated considerable data on the interaction between materials and pollutants in museums and simulated museum environments. This accumulation of data helps to narrow the range of critical levels of pollutants so that a "no observable adverse effect level" (NOAEL) and a "no observable adverse effect dosage" (NOAED) can be established [Tétreault, 1999].
Within the next two years, the first version of these IAQ standard for museums should be available. It will contain specifications for general museums, art galleries, and archives as well as a reference list of specific material - pollutant interactions for optimal control strategies. This improved understanding of pollutant/material interaction should lead to optimized specifications and control strategies.
Tétreault, J. "Standards Levels of Pollutant in Museums: Part II." In Indoor Air Pollution: Detection and Prevention, Presentation Abstracts and Additional Notes.(Eds: Agnes W. Brokerhof & Lorraine Gibson). Instituut Collectie Nederland, Amsterdam, The Nederlands, 26-27 August 1999.
Also on-line: http://iaq.dk/iap/iap1999/1999_05.htm
Jean Tétreault, Conservation Scientist
Canadian Conservation Institute, 1030 Innes Road Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0M5, Canada
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