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Re: moldy books

mold is EVERYWHERE in the air we breath and the paper we print on as well as
the bindings. We cannot get rid of the spores, unless we live in a bubble.
The best way to keep it under control is to control the environment. Running
a dehumidifier/aircondition is a great way to do that. DO NOT spray on Lysol
or Citrusolve... They will only damage the paper. If you vacuum use one with
a HEPA filter which will trap the spores. Dustbusters or other vacuum
clearners will only recirculate them..., so do it outside. Again, the best
way to deal with mold is to control the environment.

Below is an excerpt from a piece published on CoOL (Conservation Online).
The URL is <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/sagraves/sagrmold.html>.
More information can be found at=


At 11:28 AM 3/6/97 -0200, you wrote:
>YES, because it spreads.  There are remedies that can be "wiped on" that
>will remove it and control it.
>At 11:00 AM 3/6/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>This may sound like a dumb question, but if you discover that some of your
>>books are getting mold on them, should you shelve them away from other
>>books? Does mold spread from book to book? I keep a dehumidifier running
>>all summer long in my studio, but it looks as though I'll need two of them
>>now. Thanks.

Its Causes and How to Reduce the Threat

What is mold?

     a non-specific term of a type of fungus.=20
     mildew is sometimes used interchangeably, it is also a type of fungus.=
     there are over 100,000 know types of fungi=20
     mold propagates by spreading a large number of spores, which travel
through the air.=20
     because there are so many different types of fungi it is difficult to
know how to fight an outbreak.=20

What causes mold to grow?

     mold spores are everywhere=20
     food (organic materials=3Dpaper, dust, cloth, starch, etc.)=20
     moisture from high humidity (70%)=20
     mold likes high temperatures (mid 70=B0 F), darkness, and stagnant air=

Why is mold a problem?

     mold can eat organic materials such as paper, dust, adhesives, leather,
cloth, starches=20
     mold can stain paper, cloth, leather=20
     the conditions that sustain mold growth hasten chemical deterioration
in books/paper (high heat and high humidity).=20
     some varieties of mold are toxic to humans (Aspergillus fumigatus)=20

How to combat mold:


     maintain moderate temperature and humidity (70-72=B0 F and 55% or lower=
     circulate air=20
     dust regularly=20

If mold is discovered check to see if it is active (soft, fuzzy, smears
easily) or dormant powdery, easy to wipe). If it is active
and it is a single book consider withdrawing it from the collection. If it
is dormant do the following:

Material is wet:

     air dry or freeze=20
     brush off spores working outdoors and (if possible) with a fan blowing
the spores away=20

Material is dry:

     brush off spores working outdoors and (if possible) with a fan blowing
the spores away or=20
     vacuum using a triple action filtration vacuum=20

Fumigation is no longer recommended for mold because fumigants are toxic to
people, the residue remains on the
object, and it does not prevent the mold from returning.

Always wear gloves and if possible coveralls or a lab coat. Wash hands after
handling any object with mold or suspected
to have mold.

If mold is discovered in large portions of the collection do not attempt to
clean up without FIRST consulting a mycologist to
determine if toxic molds are present.

Dartmouth College Library -- Preservation Services handouts/mold causes 6/96

For further information consult "The Invasion of the Giant Spore", SOLINET
Preservation Program, Leaflet Number 5,
Sandra Nyberg, November 1987.

>>>                    I love working in the library.                  <<<
>>There is something to be said for working in a place bound in leather.<<

Peter D. Verheyen                                        <wk> 315.443.9937
Conservation Librarian                                   <fax>315.443.9510
Syracuse University Library                 <email>pdverhey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Syracuse University                <www>http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey
Syracuse, NY 13244                 <Listowner>Book_Arts-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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