On November 4th, 1966, the Arno river flooded Florence, damaging priceless cultural heritage.
On November 4th, 2019 AIC, the American Institute for Conservation, is hosting Ask A Conservator online event where conservators around the world will answer questions from the public.
More information to follow.
There are numerous resources online that provide information and guidance on how to “deal” with mold.
This is a brief synthesis.
Mold grows on organic materials in suitable conditions: relative humidity higher than 65%, oxygen and lack of air circulation, temperatures preferably in the range of 50 – 95°F. Mold decomposes the organic material (something we are usually trying to safe) and produces substances that can cause illnesses and allergic reactions.
During intervention on a mold outbreak:
- make sure to protect yourself first: wear nitrile gloves and make sure mold does not come into contact with your skin; wash hands after removing gloves; do not eat and drink in an environment where mold is present; wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as FFP3 dust mask and goggles, up to respirators and body suits in case of large outbreaks;
- try to identify and address the cause(s) of the mold outbreak;
- create some air circulation, using fans;
- use dehumidification equipment to reduce the relative humidity below 65%;
- use HEPA vacuum to remove mold growth;
- consult a conservator for appropriate of intervention depending on substrate/artifact.
In case of symptoms such as skin rash or asthma, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
For a list of symptoms, you can consult the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. (2019). Mold Allergy: https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/mold-allergy