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  There's an old story about an upstate farmer who wrote to his
state agricultural college to say that he had been using formic
acid to clean out the lead drainpipes in his barn, and it worked
really well: what did they think?
        The college wrote back: "While the efficacy of formic
acid in cleaning pipes cannot be gainsaid, its use is
counter-indicated because of its deleterious effect on lead."
        The farmer wrote back to say how pleased he was that the
college liked his use of formic acid for cleaning his pipes.
        The college wrote back: "don't use formic acid: it eats
hell out of lead."

Most experienced book conservators agree that removing PVA is
difficult and--if used in direct contact with paper or indeed
most of the other components of old books--almost impossible
without doing significant damage to the original materials.

Its use in direct contact with those original materials,
especially where paste will do, is thus counter-indicated!

Terry Belanger  :  University Professor  :   University of Virginia
Book Arts Press : 114 Alderman Library : Charlottesville, VA  22903
Tel: 804/924-8851   FAX: 804/924-8824  email: belanger@xxxxxxxxxxxx
            URL: http://poe.acc.virginia.edu/~oldbooks/

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