Mould remediation

Background

The Mould Remediation working group was formed in 2011. The working group wanted to research and address a number of mould related fallacies and facts. The identified areas of question produced a set of 12 tasks that were assigned to a member of the working group. The goal is to produce a set of Guidelines for the safe and best practice for dealing with mould remediation for cultural collections.

An increasing number of natural disasters and the effects of climate change have seen a dramatic increase in the number of incidents that have caused water damage to the buildings and collections in Australia and New Zealand. Water damage will often lead to mould growth therefore mould remediation is seen as an important issue for investigation.


Tasks

Initial tasks identified and assigned, November 2011

  • Investigate current treatments
  • Contact irradiation companies – impact of irradiation on materials
  • Health Risks, including contacting Institute of Respiratory Medicine and Environmental Hygienists
  • Contact Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration – standards expected and enforced; training
  • Investigate European standards 
  • Identify and collate mould types found in museum collections
  • Investigate published recommendations from other conservation professional bodies
  • Investigate sampling methods – best; what is generally used

Tasks remaining

  • Investigation/collation of baseline moisture levels that prevent and promote mould growth in different types of materials (paper, leather, etc) - prior to any noticeable outbreak and following any outbreak (either disaster related or HVAC related)
  • Safe/acceptable ‘spore counts’, in storage areas & on objects - prior to any outbreak and following any outbreak
  • Follow up meetings/discussions with various professional groups – disaster remediation consultants, environmental hygienists, etc
  • Student projects? – conservation students; fungal ecology students

Current status

The current status of this working group is on going. Regular up dates will be made in the coming AICCM newsletters.