Danger to health and risk factor. Paper and the glues used in the cover are the perfect nutrition for mould. If not countered in time, mould will degrade paper strongly and make it lose its mechanical stability. Cost-intensive restoration measures are indispensible and there is a great health danger from the allergenic effect of mould.
Mould spores are nearly anywhere. They develop the moment they hit beneficial living conditions. High moisture and temperatures facilitate mould infestation. Due to its allergenic effect, mould is a danger to the health of anyone coming in contact with it.
To effectively fight mould, we first insulate the objects in question from the stock not affected. ATP measurements and velvet stamp samples help us determine the best treatment method.
Gamma radiation – when dry cleaning isn't quite enough. In most cases, intense dry cleaning under suction work benches with sponges and brushes is the correct and sufficient treatment method to use books and archival material again without any concerns for health. Only if our examinations show that the germ count is too high will we use low-dosage gamma radiation to kill the mould before dry cleaning.
This irradiation sterilises the mould spores and is perfectly safe for later use of the objects. We never use ethylene oxide (ETO) gas because of its high carcinogenicity, which has also been confirmed by independent literature.
Dry cleaning is always required. The gamma rays are, however, not effective against the allergenic effect of mould spores. Dead mould also is a perfect feeding ground for new mould. After irradiation, if required, we will remove the mould deposits and other contamination. We take all protective measures required to clean the object. If need be, we do this page by page.