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Subject: Hazardous materials in collections

Hazardous materials in collections

From: David Hallam <david.hallam>
Date: Friday, February 10, 1995
Asbestos and other hazardous materials have been used in the manufacture
of industrial machinery, automobile components, war weapons and their
accessaries for many decades. Automotive brake linings, insulation
products and pipe lagging are good examples of common commercial
asbestos usage: within the warfare arena are asbestos helmet linings,
vehicle brake pads, engine insulation, pipe lagging and compartment fill
(ie general insulation for temperature and noise control) AWM
Collections cover all conflicts that have involved Australians in war:
although relics are assessed more thoroughly now than in the past for
hazardous materials, the collections contain many old examples of
materials that are hazardous to  health. Asbestos, mercury, propellants,
explosives, radio active paint, and cellulose nitrate are some of these
potentially dangerous materials. National OH&S policies and work
practices now ensure that all hazardous materials are treated with due
care and caution, with the  correct observance of handling procedures.
It is imperative that the AWM observes these government policies and
procedures: however, in assessing the potential and real hazards there
is a requirement to deal with the problems in a clinically scientific
manner that ensures a detached and objective report, and a sensible
approach to the problems.

We are currently developing a hazardous materials policy for the
collection.

Hence we are interested in how other institutions are dealing with this
problem. We would be interested in discussion on this area of
collections and possibly exchanging policy documents.

    **** Moderator's comments: Such documents would be welcomed in
    Conservation OnLine. Send machine readable texts to
    waiscool [at] palimpsest__stanford__edu, or on disk by snailmail to:
    Walter Henry
    Conservation Lab
    Stanford University Libraries
    Stanford, CA 94305

David Hallam
Senior Conservator of Objects
John Treloar Centre for Conservation Science
Australian War Memorial
PO Box 345 Canberra City
ACT 2601 Australia
+61 6 243 4534
Fax: +61 6 241 7998

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:63
                 Distributed: Sunday, February 12, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-63-011
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 10 February, 1995

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