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Friday, May 30 • 9:00am - 9:30am
(Objects + Research and Technical Studies Session) Coping with Arsenic-Based Pesticides on Textile Collections

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The Arizona State Museum Conservation Laboratory has developed a protocol for testing and removing arsenic pesticide residues from textiles. Funding from a National Center for Preservation Training and Technology (NCPTT) grant partially supported the purchase of equipment, supplies, and a graduate student assistant. A team recently completed a project that included the following activities:
  1. Scholars of Navajo textiles and Navajo weavers were consulted as the project was developed.

  2. The entire collection of Navajo textiles was surveyed with a pXRF instrument and a protocol for the testing procedure was developed to make this task both efficient in sometimes difficult storage access conditions and useful to the project to develop a removal method.

  3. A protocol for arsenic removal was based on the results of testing. A series of tests using arsenic treated samples (doses based on typical amounts found during the survey on ASM collections). Variations in washing technique including time, temperature, pH, agitation were tested and samples were pXRF tested before and after.

  4. Wash water samples were also tested for arsenic and values were compared with the washed textile samples. A circulating pump system was devised to pull contaminated wash water into a capture filter for arsenic and recycle the water.

  5. The system was tested on samples and then on a cataloged museum textile.
The results will be presented on the methodology and results of this treatment protocol.


Jae Anderson

MSE Graduate Student, University of Arizona
avatar for Martina Dawley

Martina Dawley

Assistant Curator for American Indian Relations, Arizona State Museum
My research is primarily focused on the intersection of American Indians and museums, specifically in conservation. I am working on a book based on my dissertation "An Analysis of Diversifying Museum Studies: American Indians in Conservation." I will speak on this topic during AIC's... Read More →

avatar for Delana Joy Farley

Delana Joy Farley

Museum Curator, Southern Ute Museum
Delana Joy Farley is Dine from Littlewater, NM on the Navajo Nation. She is a third generation weaver and also a museum professional. She graduated with a BA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2006 and also with an MA from New York University in Museum Studies in 2008... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Nancy Odegaard

Dr. Nancy Odegaard

Conservator, Head of Preservation Division, Arizona State Museum; Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, School of Anthropology, American Indian Studies GIDP, University of Arizona, University of Arizona
Nancy Odegaard is the Head of the Preservation Division at the Arizona State Museum on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson where she is also a professor with the Department of Material Science & Engineering, the School of Anthropology, and the Drachman Institute (historic... Read More →

Stephanie Watson

Volunteer Chemist, Conservation Laboratory at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona

Friday May 30, 2014 9:00am - 9:30am PDT
Bayview A-B