The scope of our research and treatments has widened: biocides, some of which have grave repercussions on human health, have been applied to collection items over centuries, among them arsenic, PCP (pentachlorophenol), lindane and naphthalene. In context with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is noteworthy that some of the common biocides can actually harm the human immune system.

Provided the parameters and settings are adapted accordingly, it is possible to substantially reduce the accumulated levels of certain toxic substances with the same method we are using to control insect pests. In collaboration with one of the leading experts in this field, Dr. Boaz Paz, ICM is kicking off a study to systematically investigate the most common biocides found in museums. Collections contaminated with biocides are not confined to Europe, they are a problem encountered worldwide and there is a rising awareness regarding this serious issue.