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Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
08. (Collection Care) Mercuric Chloride Reduction on Feathers

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Pesticides have historically been used in the museum environment to prevent, repel, destroy or mitigate pests in order to preserve collections. Many of these compounds, particularly heavy metal pesticides, are toxic to humans as well as pests (Pool et al. 2005). While heavy metal pesticides are no longer used in the museum environment their presence is acutely felt within collections as they do not dissipate and remain on treated artifacts (that may not be labeled as such), which can cross contaminate adjacent object (ibid). What might be more concerning, handling items treated with heavy metal pesticides presents a potential risk to those in contact with these collections. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and scanning electron microscopy energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) were used to analyze feathers treated with mercuric chloride on twentieth century Kachina figures from the Buffalo Museum of Science. Six feathers were selected for treatment and three pesticide mitigation methods were compared. Two sample sets were solvent cleaned on a vacuum suction platen; one set with ethanol and the other with isopropyl alcohol. Another set was washed in a deionized water bath. The feathers, used blotters and wash water were analyzed to evaluate the movement of the mercuric chloride and effectiveness of these meditation methods.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Cashman

Stephanie Cashman

Third Year Graduate Student in Art Conservation, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State
Stephanie Cashman is a current student in the SUNY Buffalo State Art Conservation Master’s Program where she is specializing in objects conservation. She is completing her third-year internship at the National Museum of the American Indian. During her time in graduate school, Stephanie... Read More →

Co-Authors
avatar for Aaron Shugar

Aaron Shugar

Professor of Conservation Science, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State
Aaron N. Shugar joined the department in January 2006 as our new conservation scientist, focusing on inorganic chemistry. Aaron comes to us from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, where he was a visiting scientist. He also served as Co-Director of the Archaeometallurgical... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston

Attendees (39)