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Thank you all, for your extremely helpful answers and directions to further 
resources!
Best,
Cara

--

Cara Kuball
Collections Manager for Preventive Conservation
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
ckub...@mfa.org<mailto:ckub...@mfa.org> | 617-369-3953
http://www.mfa.org/


From: pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net [mailto:pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net] On 
Behalf Of Kerith Koss Schrager
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 1:39 PM
To: pestlist@museumpests.net
Subject: RE: [pestlist] mothballs

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Here are some specific resources:


An article that details the reduction of mothball residues:

Heald, Susan and Odile Madden. 2011. Investigations into naphthalene mitigation 
on museum objects. NATCC Preprints, 8th North American Textile Conservation 
Conference, pp.291-297.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281441456_Investigations_into_naphthalene_mitigation_on_museum_objects

Here is a quick summary of the article from the AIC distlist:

http://cool.conservation-us.org/byform/mailing-lists/cdl/2014/0971.html



A SPNHC poster also describes a similar reduction process:

Purewal, Victoria and Belinda Coston. Novel detection and removal of hazardous 
biocide residues historically applied to herbaria.

https://museum.wales/media/32289/SPNHC_Posters_1.pdf



For information about risks:

Makos, Kathryn and Catharine Hawks. 2014. Collateral Damage: Unintended 
consequences of vapor-phase organic pesticides, with emphasis on 
p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene. MuseumPests.net

http://museumpests.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/4-1-Hawks-and-Makos-paper-formatted.pdf

For a bibliography of more residue-related resources:

http://museumpests.net/resources-2/solutions-residual-pesticides/

On Apr 26, 2017 1:32 PM, "Kerith Koss Schrager" 
<conservation.obje...@gmail.com<mailto:conservation.obje...@gmail.com>> wrote:
Hi Cara,
As a previous poster noted, mothballs are usually paradichlorobenzene-PDB, 
naphthalene, or a mixture and both have serious health concerns. The objects 
should be isolated or kept in a well-ventilated area and clearly labeled so 
people know to open them with appropriate PPE.

Below is an excerpt from the answer to a question involving textiles from our 
Connecting to Collections Care webinar, "Arsenic and Old Lace: Controlling 
Hazardous Collection Materials."

As a conservator, I would strongly recommend against displaying them with other 
objects, even after they've been "treated," since you will likely not be able 
to get all of it out and these chemicals have been shown to deposit on other 
objects and storage and display cases. I would also get a health and safety 
professional involved before you consider placing them I'm an exhibit where the 
public may be exposed. Your best bet is to consult with conservators there at 
the MFA since they are familar with health and safety issues of exhibitions.

Kerith
Co-Chair, AIC Health & Safety Committee


https://www.connectingtocollections.org/arsenic-and-old-lace-controlling-hazardous-collection-materials/

"We are assuming “mothballs” are either paradichlorobenzene-PDB, naphthalene, 
or a mixture of the two (both have serious toxicity issues). It is impossible 
to tell the difference without testing. They have different melting points, so 
that is one of the simplest ways to determine which one is present. Camphor is 
a terpenoid that has long been used as a pest repellant. It is toxic to people, 
as are almost all plant-derived aromatics. Obviously the first item would be 
the physical removal of all remaining crystals. Next, airing out of textiles or 
other materials, ideally under a lab fume hood but outdoors on a breezy, 
moderately warm day would help, under a small tent or some other means to 
protect against light damage. The textiles should be examined carefully to be 
sure no pests are present prior to rehousing. If they are to remain in the 
wooden storage trunks, it can be assumed that the trunks should also be aired 
well – naphthalene, PDB, and camphor will all be absorbed by the wood. The 
airing is unlikely to completely clear any of these from either the textiles or 
the wood, so it may be prudent to look into the use of scavengers (e.g., 
activated charcoal, MicroChamber board) and to repeat the airing annually for a 
few years. To protect against pest ingress, it may also be worthwhile to look 
at ways to ensure that pests cannot enter the trunks. Something as simple as 
plumbers’ tape (Teflon tape available at hardware stores or sold as Relic Wrap 
by conservation suppliers) might work, depending upon the configuration of the 
trunks. Any additional sealing of the trunks would reinforce the need for 
periodic airing and/or use of scavengers. -Catharine Hawks with Kathryn Makos"


On Apr 26, 2017 12:54 PM, "Jablonski, Megan T CIV NHHC, NUM" 
<megan.jablon...@navy.mil<mailto:megan.jablon...@navy.mil>> wrote:

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We've had some success using an unscented kitty litter to eliminate mothball 
odor. We put the stinky artifacts in an open plastic bin, which is then placed 
into a larger bin. The base of the larger bin is lined with the litter, and the 
smaller bin with the artifacts is placed on top of that litter layer. Once that 
is set, put the lid on the larger bin, and wait!

-----Original Message-----
From: pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net<mailto:pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net> 
[mailto:pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net<mailto:pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net>] 
On Behalf Of Cara Kuball
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 9:29 AM
To: pestlist@museumpests.net<mailto:pestlist@museumpests.net>
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] [pestlist] mothballs

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Hello all,


I am looking for recommendations of literature about the safe removal of 
mothball residue and scent (I do not have any information about the exact 
chemical or product used; I am simply faced with some artifacts with VERY 
strong scent of mothballs). All I can gather is that PPE and fume hood will be 
required for work on the objects, but I am wondering in particular if there is 
a way to significantly reduce-or remove, ideally-the scent and residue so that 
objects are safe to display in public areas and with other art objects.



Please reply with any suggestions you might have!

Thank you kindly.



Best,

Cara



--

Cara Kuball
Collections Manager for Preventive Conservation Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
ckub...@mfa.org<mailto:ckub...@mfa.org> 
<mailto:ckub...@mfa.org<mailto:ckub...@mfa.org>>  | 
617-369-3953<tel:617-369-3953> http://www.mfa.org/ <http://www.mfa.org/>





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