An overview of current research into the control of biodeterioration through the use of thermal or suffocant conditions

John Burke

Abstract

Since toxicological, environmental and ethical prohibitions are limiting the use of traditional pesticides, conservators and scientists have turned their attention to less hazardous methods of pest control such as freezing, heating, or anaerobic suffocation with nitrogen or carbon dioxide. The availability of inexpensive heat-sealable vapor barriers and high efficiency oxygen absorbers are bringing some of these promising methods within reach of even the smallest museum. The advisable protocols and their efficacy, however, are still under investigation. This paper will briefly describe the techniques under consideration and the preliminary results of current research.