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Protecting museum collections from soiling due to the deposition of airborne particles

Nazaroff, William W. and Cass, Glen R. (1991) Protecting museum collections from soiling due to the deposition of airborne particles. Atmospheric Environment Part A-General Topics, 25 (5-6). pp. 841-852. ISSN 0960-1686. doi:10.1016/0960-1686(91)90127-S.

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Objects in Southern California museums may become perceptibly soiled within periods as short as a year due to the deposition of airborne particles onto their surfaces. Methods for reducing the soiling rate include reducing the building ventilation rate, increasing the effectivenes of particle filtration, reducing the particle deposition velocity onto surfaces of concern, placing objects within display cases or glass frames, managing a site to achieve low outdoor aerosol concentrations, and eliminating indoor particle sources. A mathematical model of indoor aerosol dynamics and experimental data collected at an historical museum in Southern California are combined to illustrate the potential effectiveness of these control techniques. According to model results, the soiling rate can be reduced by at least two orders of magnitude through practical application of these control measures. Combining improved filtration with either a reduced ventilation rate for the entire building or low-air-exchange display cases is a very effective approach to reducing the soiling hazard in museums.

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Additional Information:© 1991 Pergamon Press. First received 2 February 1990 and in final form 23 July 1990. Financial support for this work was provided through a contract with the Getty Conservation Institute. Additional support was received through graduate scholarships from the Switzer Foundation and the Air Pollution Control Association. We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation and support rendered by John Coghlan, artifacts curator of El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park, during our monitoring program at the Sepulveda House.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Getty Conservation InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Robert and Patricia Switzer FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Air Pollution Control AssociationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Art conservation; indoor air quality; museum; particle deposition; soiling
Issue or Number:5-6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160623-075435858
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Official Citation:William W. Nazaroff, Glen R. Cass, Protecting museum collections from soiling due to the deposition of airborne particles, Atmospheric Environment. Part A. General Topics, Volume 25, Issue 5, 1991, Pages 841-852, ISSN 0960-1686, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:68624
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Jun 2016 22:16
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:02

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