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Subject: Woven asbestos theater curtain

Woven asbestos theater curtain

From: Anne Lapointe <lapte8>
Date: Friday, December 12, 2003
Has anyone had experience with the treatment of a painted theater
curtain made from woven asbestos fibres?  I am especially concerned
with :

    *   toxicity--some say that larger fibres such as those found in
        woven fabrics are not so dangerous as smaller particle
        fibres found in mortars or construction materials, but my
        research into health and safety literature does not specify
        a different level of required protection for larger fibres.
        The verso of the curtain does not appear to be primed, the
        fabric fibers are exposed. the curtain is extremely dusty
        and would initially require dusting on both sides

    *   the logistics of providing adequate protection for myself
        and staff, either working on site or in a studio. Also, if
        working on-site, could other team of workers be affected -
        since several different operations are taking place
        simultaneously in the building

    *   what kind of isolation (air-curtain) should I provide to
        avoid contaminating the air in the building.

    *   regulations I would have to meet, if I were to hire other
        sub-contracting firms to participate in the project  (for
        example, for transportation of the curtain to a studio and
        re-installation on site)

    *   all of the above concerns being complicated by the fact that
        the curtain is very large (approximately 50 x 40 feet).

I am contemplating an on-site treatment to reduce manipulations and
risks for everyone (including the curtain) but there are a number of
small tears which would require some re-weaving, some being located
at the bottom, in the loop which holds a wooden or metal pole, meant
to maintain proper tension throughout the curtain by gravity. I am
still unsure whether these tears can be repaired and the fabric
sufficiently reinforced by the limited techniques available in an
on-site type of setting.

If anyone could provide advise, knowledge, experience, warnings,
theoretical or practical information, tips, etc., even of dissuasive
nature, it would be greatly appreciated.

Anne Lapointe
Painting conservator
A. Lapointe enr.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:46
                Distributed: Tuesday, December 16, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-46-022
Received on Friday, 12 December, 2003

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