Back To Schedule
Friday, May 30 • 9:30am - 10:00am
(Photographic Materials Session) Examination of an Anti-Fungal Agent to be Used on Photographs

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 caused tremendous damage to photographic materials. Many of them were water damaged and left untreated for months. As a result they were found with microbial deterioration leading to the dissolution of the gelatin binder and damage to the support, at times making them very difficult to recover or conduct further treatment. As an emergency response procedure for preventing mold on photographs, the authors examined the use of Hokucide R-150 (an aqueous solution of chloromethylisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone), as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It is easy to prepare and can be used as a solution either by immersion or by spray.

Anti-fungal effect of Hokucide R-150 was confirmed by inoculating standard strain of non-tonophilic (Aspergillus niger) and absolute tonophilic (Asperigillus penicilloides, Eurotium herberiorum) fungi found on photographs damaged by Tsunami. Isolated strains were inoculated and cultivated on group of paper disks treated with Hokucide R-150 and compared with untreated paper disks used as a control. As a result of cultivation, fungal growth was prevented in the paper disks treated with Hokucide R-150 solution. To obtain a satisfactory result of its anti-fungal property, concentration of 1.0% Hokucide R-150 in water is recommended. Surfactant is added to Hokucide R-150 solution for even dispersion and reducing surface tension. A survey has been done on non-ionic surfactants to be used safely on photographs and effectively with Hokucide R-150. Samples of surfactants have been tested with colloidal silver detector film.

The effect on photographs by Hokucide R-150 solution has been studied and tested. Samples used were step tablets of Cyanotype, Albumen print, Gelatin Silver P.O.P., Gelatin Silver D.O.P., colloidal silver detector film, and Macbeth Color Checker Color Rendition Chart (Chromogenic process). Reflection density and CIE L*a*b* values were measured before and after immersion as well as after artificial aging for 7 and 14 days under controlled condition. Transmission density was measured for colloidal silver detector film at same stages.

As a result of the examination, water damaged photographs can be effectively protected from fungal growth by using Hokucide R-150 solution. Artificial aging test provided acceptable results and this could be an alternative method to be used where freezing and drying may be difficult to conduct just after the disaster.


Yoko Shiraiwa

paper and photograph conservator, Shiraiwa Conservation Studio
Yoko Shiraiwa obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts in 2004 and completed a Certified and Master Class at The Centre for Photographic Conservation in London. She worked at the Art Conservation Laboratory in Tokyo as a paper conservator for five... Read More →

Friday May 30, 2014 9:30am - 10:00am PDT
Grand Ballroom C