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Subject: Ten agents of deterioration

Ten agents of deterioration

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Sunday, April 20, 2003
This is in response to Mr. Simmons' comments on "Ten agents of
deterioration" which he attributes to an article by Costain (see
Conservation DistList Instance: 16:62 Thursday, April 17, 2003).
While I have not seen this article I must say that it is likely that
it is derived from the work of Carl J. Wessel and Glen A.
Greathouse, Deterioration of Materials: Causes and Preventive
Techniques, Reinhold, N.Y. 1954.  This book contains a number of
essays which present scientific work produced during WWII by
scientists the world over.  In chapter 2 agents of chemical and
physical deterioration are discussed, including radiation, oxygen
and ozone, contaminants, acids, alkalies, salts and other chemicals,
moisture, heat and cold, dirt dust, sand and grit (other abrasives),
wind, rain, hail, sleet, lightning, etc (which could be grouped as 7
agents in general categories.  Chapter 3 summarizes biological
agents (which could be reasonably divided into microorganisms and
others) making 8 and then add to this number 2 of Costain's list
(thieves, vandals, etc. which, of course could also be a subdivision
of biological agents) and you have 10.  The Greathouse and Wessel
book is a very comprehensive study of the subject and still of great
value in understanding how these agents work especially in the
context of a variety of climates.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:63
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 23, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-63-006
Received on Sunday, 20 April, 2003

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