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Characterization and control of fungal exposure during document restoration at the National Archives Laboratory.
Piacitelli-C; Harrison-J; Jones-W
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :64
In this study, we examined the exposures associated with the restoration of historical documents at the National Archives Laboratory in College Park, Maryland. When documents arrive with water damage and suspected mold growth, conservators use various mechanical means (vacuuming, brushing, wiping, and erasing) to remove contamination. This work can result in the generation of aerosols and is typically done within an exhaust hood. We examined the nature of this dust and determined ventilation 64 hood effectiveness by light and electron microscopy analysis of air samples collected both inside and outside the ventilation hood during restoration of Civil War ship log documents. We also explored the effectiveness of treatment by microscopy examination of bulk samples of vacuumed and un-vacuumed documents. Additionally, personal and area real time dust measurements were made along with time-synchronized video in order to relate workplace dynamics to dust exposure. The predominant aerosol exposure here was confirmed to be of fungal origin. Although spores dominated, fragments of hyphae were also seen. Examination of the documents themselves revealed extensive fungal contamination. Although vacuumed documents showed markedly less surface contamination, fungal material could still be detected. Real time dust/video analysis was useful in pinpointing specific tasks which resulted in concentration spikes and this was used to recommend some rather simple changes in workstation configuration to eliminate these exposure peaks.
Exposure-levels; Molds; Air-contamination; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles; Exhaust-hoods; Dusts; Dust-particles; Dust-exposure; Microorganisms; Fungi
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
WV; MD; LA
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division