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close this book Prevention and treatment of mold in library collections with an emphasis on tropical climates: A RAMP study
View the document Preface
View the document Acknowledgements
close this folder 1. Introduction
View the document 1.1 Climate
View the document 1.2 Materials
View the document 1.3 Modifying the environment
View the document Literature cited
close this folder 2. Mold
View the document 2.1 Structure of mold
close this folder 2.2 Environmental and nutritional factors in growth and survival
View the document 2.2.1 Temperature
View the document 2.2.2 Moisture
View the document 2.2.3 Nutrients
View the document Literature cited
close this folder 3. Implications for library materials
close this folder 3.1 Vulnerability of materials
View the document 3.1.1 Paper - cellulose, sizes, coatings
View the document 3.1.2 Bookcloth
View the document 3.1.3 Leather
View the document 3.1.4 Adhesives
View the document 3.1.5 Film and related materials
close this folder 3.2 Environmental factors
View the document 3.2.1 Circulation
View the document 3.2.2 Relative humidity
View the document 3.2.3 Temperature
View the document Literature cited
close this folder 4. Prevention
close this folder 4.1 Building design and modification
View the document 4.1.1 Location
View the document 4.1.2 Structural considerations in environmental modification
close this folder 4.2 Interior modifications in existing facilities
View the document 4.2.1 Location of stack and storage areas
View the document 4.2.2 Stack arrangement
View the document 4.2.3 Localized environmental modification
View the document 4.2.4 Creating microclimates in cabinets and cases
View the document 4.3 Stack maintenance
View the document Literature cited
close this folder 5. Fungicides and fumigation
View the document 5.1 Fungicides
View the document 5.2 Fumigation
View the document 5.3 Toxicity of fumigants
View the document Literature cited
close this folder 6. Treatment
close this folder 6.1 Small outbreaks - localized high relative humidity
View the document 6.1.1 Books
View the document 6.1.2 Unbound materials (documents, maps, works of art on paper)
View the document 6.1.3 Photographs, negatives and microfilm
View the document 6.1.4 General area
close this folder 6.2 Moderate outbreaks - Major and prolonged periods of high humidity or minor flooding
View the document 6.2.1 Books
View the document 6.2.2 Unbound materials
View the document 6.2.3 Photographs, negatives and microfilm
View the document 6.2.4 General area
close this folder 6.3 Major outbreaks - Major flooding and prolonged exposure
View the document 6.3.1 Priorities and planning
View the document 6.3.2 Prevention of mold growth on site
View the document 6.3.3 Freezing
View the document 6.3.4 Drying
View the document Literature cited
close this folder 7. Equipment and supplies
View the document 7.1 Monitoring equipment
View the document 7.2 Prevention
View the document 7.3 Treatment
View the document 7.4 Emergency treatment
View the document 8. Selected bibliography

2. Mold

It may seem, in what follows, that an inordinate amount of attention is devoted to the structure and nature of mold. Because fumigation has for so long been the treatment of choice, there seems to be a feeling that information regarding the organism itself is irrelevant. Moreover, librarians are understandably frustrated by literature which urges them to consult a microbiologist or entomologist in order to identify the offending species. While it is to some extent true that one need not identify precisely the mold involved in order to treat it, an analysis of the problems associated with mold growth and the selection of an appropriate treatment must be based on some understanding of the organism. As Allsopp notes, it does not require a specialist to determine the hazards posed by most organisms. One can, after all, "observe a mouse or a bird and state accurately whether it is dead or alive. Organisms such as these can be seen and identified, and vital signs are easily recognized. Mice rarely lie stiff on their backs, motionless, with their feet in the air when they are alive. Microorganisms, however, pose problems..."1

Because the nature of molds is so poorly understood, their appearance is often cause for disproportionate alarms and excursions, with cries for institution wide fumigation, the formation of committees, and often, a lamentable level of inaction. Much of the older and some of the current literature recommends that items be isolated in plastic bags, to await fumigation or other treatment or that the mold be brushed from the surface of the item. Once the structure of the mold organism is clearly understood, and the staff has some idea of the reasons for its occurrence and growth, recommendations in the literature can be more accurately evaluated, and informed decisions can be made as to the appropriate treatment. For example, in the above instance, placing the item in a plastic bag at the first visible sign of the mold will simply create a micro-climate that may actually accelerate the growth of the colonies, possibly doing serious damage while treatment is awaited or debated. Simply brushing the mold away will only remove the visible portion of the mold, scattering the spores, and pressing the invisible sub-structure down onto the surface of the item. Treatment techniques will be dealt with in detail in a later section, but are mentioned now to stress the importance of this section and the section that follows. Together they will provide the basis for informed decision making. The mold organism must be clearly understood, since the nature of mold, the reasons for its occurance, and the stage of its development will determine the specific treatment and the time frame within which action should be taken.