Re: GLOVES!

#133066

Here’s my two cents worth on this topic. As a conservator of paper and archival materials for 30 years I concur with the Baker/Silverman article for the reasons they cite and when you are talking about handling book and paper items specifically. With respect to the question raised about hand sanitizers I also brought that question up to scientists at the Canadian Conservation Institute a couple of years ago when increasingly in Canadian libraries and archives staff were being directed to place hand sanitizers in the reading rooms for patrons to use. I had concern about whether or not sanitizers would leave residue on archival papers or library books when handled without gloves. The opnion of the CCI scientists was that the concern was negligible. They felt the small quantity used would not likely pose a problem as these products are mostly composed of ethanol and isopropanol,and water (about 75%) which evaporates readily The smaller quantities of other products such as the gel or perfumes would be the concern but again as they noted quantities would be much smaller in the tiny amount one normally dispenses. One scientist did seems less confident that no oily residue will remain based on similar tests he had done with other products. If you have a choice in the matter I would suggest at least asking for a sanitizer with highest level of ethanol/isopropanol and less or no perfumes and other additives. Additionally I would be rigorous in requesting researchers to use gloves as much as possible when handling highly valuable records or materials such as photographs or microfilm where the oil transfer is more of a risk.