Appendix D: Tips to help determine the presence of toxics: What to look for
Tips to help determine the presence of toxins
- All ethnographic artifacts collected and/or prepared before the mid-1950s should be considered potentially dangerous to those handling them.
- Study the documentation for reference to use of toxins. Note that treatments were rarely recorded as they were considered part of general collections management practices.
Inspect artifacts carefully for:
- Warning labels or tags on the object or in/on its storage container.
- Powdery or crystalline deposits or bloom stains, tidelines.
- Inspect and/or test pre-1950s artifacts every several years as toxins may
migrate from their interiors.
- If you discover traces of toxins: tag the contaminated objects indicating the contamination, isolate them (wrap them and/or move them) and thoroughly document their condition.