San Diego Natural History Museum Library libsdnhm at CLASS.ORG
Wed Mar 29 08:23:01 CST 1995

To add a bit to Ann Pinzl's discussion of preventive pest management
measures: there is also a trend to treat infestations through a variety of
non-chemical measures, since many fumigants are not only illegal in
museums but also dangerous to people (more so than to the pests).
Freezing works well for most soft-tissue specimens and some hard-tissue
ones, though the jury is still out on mollusk shells and vertebrate teeth
because of the layering of different tissues that respond differentially
to freezing. There are guidelines for freezing available: it's not a
simple process, and you can't use a frost-free unit because of the
temperature cycling. After the freezing, of course, there is no residual
effect. Another method, used either instead of or after freezing, is the
creation of an anoxic enclosure. This can be done actively (introduction
of nitrogen, now preferred over carbon dioxide) or passively (inclusion
of oxygen scavengers). The latter is the method we are using to create
anoxic enclosures for specimens at risk. References and a list of
materials can be found on the Conservation DistList gopher site. Please
let me know if you need these references.
Sally Shelton
Director, Collections Care and Conservation

|                                                                       |
|                 San Diego Natural History Museum                      |
|                          P. O. Box 1390                               |
|                San Diego, California   92112  USA                     |
|             phone (619) 232-3821; FAX (619) 232-0248                  |
|                     email LIBSDNHM at CLASS.ORG                          |
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