This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own
View analytic
Friday, May 30 • 9:00am - 9:30am
(Objects + Research and Technical Studies Session) Coping with Arsenic-Based Pesticides on Textile Collections

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

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, PhD

Martina Dawley, PhD

Assistant Curator for American Indian Relations, Arizona State Museum


Delana Joy Farley

Collections Manager, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona
avatar for Nancy Odegaard

Nancy Odegaard

Conservator - Professor, Arizona State Museum - 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 preservation). She completed conservation graduate studies at George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and a doctoral... Read More →

Stephanie Watson

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

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

Attendees (102)