Collections should be inspected regularly for signs of microorganism growth. If an object shows signs of infestation, the piece should be sealed in a polyethylene bag or enclosed in polyethylene sheeting to prevent the spread of spores to other objects. Remove the object to an isolated space where the RH can be lowered by running a dehumidifier.
A conservator should be contacted for assistance in dealing with the infested material. However, as a general procedure, vacuuming is appropriate in most situations. The object should be removed from the polyethylene and the bag or sheeting discarded. The object should then be vacuumed using a vacuum cleaner which will not exhaust the spores back out into the room. A vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter is recommended; however, the water bath filter vacuum cleaner, such as the Rainbow brand vacuum, that many parks have been using, is acceptable for this purpose. Follow all precautions when vacuuming an object: use the lowest effective suction and protective screening. (See NPS "Museum Handbook," Part I (Rev 9/90), Appendix K, for vacuuming procedures.) Wear disposable gloves when handling a contaminated object. Seal the vacuum cleaner bag, gloves and other contaminated materials in a plastic bag and dispose of them in the trash outside the building. Also dispose of storage materials, i.e., acid free box or tissue, that were used to store the object.
Chemical eradication of a microorganism infestation with a biocide capable of killing the growths may only be considered in consultation with the Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinator and the Regional Curator.
A proposal for chemical use must be submitted and receive final approval from the Service-wide IPM Coordinator in Washington, DC. (See NPS "Museum Handbook," Part I (Rev 9/90), Chapter 5, for guidance.) Use must conform to all NPS and Environmental Protection Agency restrictions and guidelines. In addition, a conservator with a specialization in the specific materials to be treated would be consulted to review the potential effects of any chemical on the object.