Cover Image
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

5. Fungicides and fumigation

Most librarians, archivists and museum personnel share a conviction that mold must be killed. It is perhaps more appropriate and effective to concentrate on prevention, inhibition and removal. As noted earlier, molds are admirably equipped for survival. Even a kill ratio of 99% "is an almost insignificant loss to a fungus which can produce hundreds of thousands of spores in a small colony started from a single spore."1 Fungicides and fumigants broad ranging enough and powerful enough to achieve a 99% mortality for fungi are now known to be toxic to man as well. In considering the use of fungicides and fumigants for the prevention or treatment of mold growth, two basic facts should be kept in mind:

- All biocides are chemically reactive, i.e. they are capable of reacting with and altering materials to which they are applied.

- All biocides have some level of mammalian toxicity.2

The traditional chemical approach to biodeterioration involves two strategies. One strategy, fumigation, interferes with the vital activities of the organism. The other strategy, topical application of fungicides to an object, interferes with their consequences, that is with the chemical reactions of the organism and its substrate. The number of compounds in use today is fairly limited. They include certain metal derivatives, organic chemicals (of which the phenols are the most common), and certain organometal compounds.3 While there is a certain amount of interest in, and testing of more exotic techniques, including irradiation and the use of ozone, "we must not place too much reliance on the hope for brand-new biocidal agents as the solution to the problem."4 Both irradiation and ozone have been found to be damaging to certain materials.

It should be noted that the first strategy, interfering with the vital activities of the organism, can be accomplished without recourse to chemical treatment. Modification of the environmental factors required for the growth of mold is at least as effective as chemical treatments, and certainly far safer for both personnel and materials.