Bynes efflorecense on sea shells

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After storage in a private collection for years, in the hot and humid Florida, USA, these shells shown below received heavy attacks of Bynes efflorecense. These white powdery salts are the product of reactions between the calcium carbonate in the shells and acid gasses in the air. All shells has been stored in wooden drawers of yellow pine, each in clear plastic boxes on plastic foam. The foam has now disintegrated. The efflorecense is probably caused by emitted substances from both the wood and the foam, and the whole reaction has been accelerated by the tropical climate.

Fig. 1: Distorsio clathrata and a now unidentifiable Fusus

Fig. 2: Spisula solidissima and Macrocallista maculata

Fig. 3: Oliva sayana and Neritina virginea

Fig. 4: Lyonsia, a pair of Peronia, and a duet of little Ancistosyrinx.

Thanks to Lynn Scheu
Louisville KY,
Editor, American Conchologist,
Conchologists of America

All photos: © Lynn Scheu

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IAQ in Museums and Archives, January 11th, 2000

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